Reblog: The Coolest Kids on the Playground

This is a reblog of my post, The coolest kids on the playground, for my blog channel DruidHeart at Witches and Pagans.

There is a favourite saying of mine, “You do not have to blow out someone else’s candle for yours to burn more brightly”. Sadly, it seems that in our modern society, this is the way things “work”.
Watch a political debate. It’s just tossing around attempts to besmirch the other party, rather than actually getting things done. It’s infuriating. Sound bites on the news are all about how another party is crap, and theirs is better, without actually talking about the issue at hand.
See what happens on a school playground. Those who are different, who don’t fit in with the popular kids, are usually pushed around or gossiped/rumour mongered by those who are a part of the elite popular gang. I have no idea why it happens, but it happened over thirty years ago when I was in elementary and high school, it happens now and it will happen in the future, most likely. I don’t know if kids learn this from their parents, or television, or society – all I know is that kids can be cruel.
Even in Pagan circles, people put down or condemn others for various reasons: the “newbie”, the “fluffy bunny”, the rival coven, hearth or Order. All it comes down to, basically, is this playground mentality. Some people never got out of it. Even the most intelligent, articulate person can fall back into this frame of mind, to make themselves feel better.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t look critically at others’ behaviour, and especially our own. What I am trying to say is that we do not need to belittle anyone whose path may be different from our own.
I have known some popular Pagan leaders to put down other Pagans in front of their own group. This always leaves me with a bad feeling in my mouth – it is utterly distasteful. It does a disservice to everyone involved. Even the most militant, ethically-minded person I know has failed in this regard on at least one occasion, shuddering at the thought of once belonging to another group and verbally putting them down in front of a gathering of about a dozen individuals. This shocked me, but then I realised that we are all human, and we all have failings. We can all regress to the playground.

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4 thoughts on “Reblog: The Coolest Kids on the Playground

  1. This is so true – what is it – envy, greed, inferiority complex, power struggle? I suppose animals can be very territorial and fight to preserve their boundaries.

  2. I have never denigrated nor denied the steps that brought me to my current spiritual/religious understanding and practise. I am willing to engage and a positive way with those with different spiritual/religious beliefs and practises or none. The important thing is to honour the journey, and part of that is accepting that at one time one may have been in a very different place with radically different understandings. And more importantly, without those experiences one would in all likelihood be where one is at the moment — whether that is exploring a path that is ‘home’ or still groping in the undergrowth to find a path. It is all of value, all necessary. And my way is not anyone else’s way. Same woods, many paths and tracks, and some of us are making paths for others to find and follow for a bit to learn more.

    The need not only to feel superior, but to prove superiority in some empirical way, is a a very dangerous aspect of human nature and in human affairs, be they religious, political or economic.

    The put-down mentality, the tendency to belittle — I digress here and may stay digressed — an odd word since to use to describe an action focused on another, when it is often a shield to protect the belittler from feeling they ‘are little’, as it were. Projecting on the target to ‘big up’ themselves. Humm . . . have no idea where I was heading when I chased that rabbit. So I’ll just pull up under a tree and take in the view whilst pondering your timely comments.

    • Yes – it is a very human trait, isn’t it? But I wonder, is it a natural trait, or learned behaviour, and if it is learned behaviour, can we unlearn it? I do think it all ties in with the ego – is it related to human consciousness as well? I hope not – but this area of expertise is not my forte. I personally think it is all based on fear – fear is at the root of so many things when it comes to human behaviour. Belittling another person in order to “big up” yourself can be based on vanity, which has the root of fear. It can also be based on insecurity, which has the root of fear, etc. etc.. x

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