The other day when talking to my mother on the phone, I realized that there is something that is actually really bothering me a lot about all this talk about “fluffy bunnies.” I thought back to my experience as a very enthusiastic Pagan teenager, and the way I was treated by many of the adults in the Pagan community around me. Needless to say it wasn’t a very good one. In fact, ten years later I’m still put off by it, and would love a chance to sit down and talk to those adults about how they treated me.
So here are my questions – Where have all the elders gone? Where are those people that are willing to attempt to help bring people into the fold in a gentle way? Why is it that so many of us are looking down our noses at others, and couldn’t we put our energy into better things?
Now I know that there are those that will never change. They will be perma-bunnies. However, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that every “white-lighter” that we find out there isn’t willing to learn more about their own religion. And I think that was the original thought behind those first webpages talking about fluffies.
As a teenager, I would have loved for someone to hand me or even suggest a book to me not written by Silver Ravenwolf. I’d have greeted knowledge about the “burning times” explained to me by an elder if it had been gently given. Basically I was a sponge just waiting to soak up information, and no one took up the challenge of it.
It’s not safe to assume that every teenager out there is just embracing a passing fad to anger their parents. I understand the legality of letting someone under the age of 18 join a coven, but what I don’t understand is when it became illegal to simply suggest a book or a website with information to someone.
If they don’t seem open to it, fine. Just leave knowing that you tried. But until you try, don’t write a person off as a hopeless case.
So instead of looking down your nose at that pentacle covered kid running around at your Pagan gathering, introduce yourself to them, talk to them in a way that doesn’t say you’re trying to cram information down their throat, and generally treat them like a person. It’s not that hard.
You are an older, more experienced person, and it is an honor. I would go so far as to say that it is your sacred duty to help those that are less experienced than you are. If it wasn’t for the elders teaching us through books and in-person learning, none of us would have gotten as far as we are today. (Though some of us are further along the path than others, and I don’t claim to be that far along!)