“Family values” has become a bit of buzzword in the last decade. It seems to be particularly popular with certain conservative groups. However, these folks do not and will never have a monopoly on raising and encouraging strong families. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get tired of hearing words of hate, dissension, and prejudice wrapped up neatly under the heading of family values. I get even more tired of hearing that because I am not raising children, I don’t have a right to speak about family values (a statement that I’ve heard no less than three times this week).
This pagan’s family values/5 things I’d like to instill in my children:
- Love. Above all, love and take care of each other. Let each person thrive and grow in ways that allow their hearts to sing. Celebrate the bonds that hold you together.
- Respect. Respect others, even (and especially) those with whom you don’t agree. You don’t have to like someone else’s views nor do you need to actively support those views if they are in conflict with your own. What you do need to do need to respect the right of that person to hold those views. This applies to all things… from their favorite color crayon to the god that they believe in.
- Equality. Never deny or deprive someone else of the rights and privileges that you enjoy. The universe did not bless you any more or less than the next person. If you deny the rights and privileges of others, you cannot expect anyone to stand up for yours.
- Compassion. If you see someone who is suffering or need, help them in whatever way you can. While you cannot fix everything that’s broken in this world, you can take small steps to make it a better place.
- Responsibility. Never assume that you are powerless or that life is beyond your control. While it may only be in the smallest of measure, you do have control over what happens to you. Do not deny responsibility for your own life and actions.
In case you’re wondering how I came up with these items, they’re the family values under which I was raised. Yes, that’s right, I inherited my family values from parents, neither of whom were pagan. For me, family values don’t need to based on religion… or even touch on the topic. Nor do they need to be about political viewpoints. The only thing they need, in my very humble opinion, is to teach us how to love and care for each other.