Merriam Webster defines will as follows:
Will – Desire, wish
Many pagans, not just those who follow the Wicca traditions follow the Wiccan Rede. The last eight words of the rede are: “An it harm none, do what ye will”, from Doreen Valiente – 1964.
So what I take from this is that this means, as long as we don’t hurt others, we can do as we desire. Our will is our desire. Immediately from this, I think of bullying and shaming. I've written pieces in the past on both topics. Just a few weeks ago in my V is for Views, I talked about this very thing.
Many people today seem to think if you disagree with their stance on something or have an opinion on something then you are bullying them. They think that if you say I don’t like x, then anyone who does like x or who is x, is being shamed.
A bully is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimated others who are weaker. To bully someone means to use strength or influence to intimidate someone, usually forcing them to do what they want. Being unkind in itself is not bullying. (article linked)
Shame is an emotion usually related to guilt. Shaming is force someone by making them feel ashamed. Disagreement or criticism is not shaming. (article linked)
As a victim of child sexual abuse, incest, physical and mental abuse as a child, as well as a rape survivor, I can honestly tell you what shame feels like. As a person who is plus sized, I can tell you what it feels like to be shamed into not going into the gym every day. I can tell you how it feels to have my very will, my desires crushed by others. I can tell you how it feels to have my assistance turned down because I wear a pentacle. I can tell you how it feels to have mothers grab their children’s hands and pull me out of my vending tent because they believe that being pagan equates to being evil.
I can also say that I have been around many people in all these same environments and not been hurt. And if those people are in those environments or participate in them, it doesn't add to my shame. My feelings are my own. No one owns those feelings.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt
While others can attempt to bully me, they are not bullying me if I do not give in and give them what they want. While others can attempt to shame me, they cannot shame me. They can try. But I have to be secure in who I am. As a woman, as a mother, as a wife and as a pagan.
What I’m saying here is that we as individuals need stop being so quick to jump on the new bully/shame bandwagon. Not ever disagreement is bullying, not every opinion is an attack.
Let me give you an example.
I do not like back hair. It grosses me out. I don’t like it. Period. It is not attractive and I don’t want to see it. And that’s OK, because some people do like it. Some want to see it. Some want to run their fingers through it, play with it and caress it. And that’s OK too.
Now quickly before the comments come rolling in about “How can I say this?” “What about the KKK?” “What about hate groups?” “Don’t they have a right?”
Well yeah, actually they do. They have a right to hate you for any reason, or for no reason. They have a right to be just as ugly as they want to be.
They have a right to not like you. (Did you hear me?)
Yeah, that’s right. Christians have a right not to like gay people. Races have the right to be separate from each other if they choose. It’s their right. It is their “Will”.
That being said, keep in mind, one’s rights end where another’s begin. That means that the most racist hateful person on the planet has the right to yell to high heaven their horrible beliefs, I have the right to rebut them. I have the right to join the discussion and give my point of view. I have the right to say what I need to say, just as they do. I also have the intelligence to understand that some fights cannot be won, and I can agree to disagree.
Our will, our desire is our own. I am not Wiccan. However I do believe in the rule of three, and I do believe what you send out comes back to you times three. I believe that if you send out positive and if you do your own desire and harm none, you will receive that back to you.