Pagans Need Jobs: Ownership
“Ownership is essential to building resources, and we are quite capable of creating a sharing economy, by creating ways to allow ownership to be held in common as well as individually and corporately. “ – Ed the Pagan
Pagans are great festival people. We as a community run exceptional annual festivals that are well attended year after year, decade after decade. In fact, we do it so well; it has allowed our community to create surplus that helps fund the Hosting Charitable, 501c3 organization annual budget. Festivals are where we really feel ownership in our community, and it shows in the success of those who operate them in acquiring land and creating wonderful organizations. Festivals represent a key to understanding how Pagans can build ownership that endures.
Essentially, they have a core team, who takes their responsibilities seriously, who become stake holders. They essentially respect, honor and assure the survival of resources involved, be it land, tools, goods, money, and legal obligations. Early on they created a flexible management system they could agree on, and one that was able to allow individuals to leave easily and new individuals to join slowly. They create a strong backbone that allows the community involved a voice at the table and create partnerships that cross cultural and economic barriers. The organizations demand work from their members but also honor the sacrifice, and acknowledge the resources given it by the stake holders and community alike. This is where Pagans have mastered their needs, wants, and demands in a successful and enduring way.
Now teams that rent space don’t seem to have as great a success as owners of space. It does seem the key element to find cooperation is the stake in ownership. When real value is involved, something that has a chance to endure, the ability to manage and care about management is increased exponentially. So while we talk about renting space in the city, maybe groups should work towards ownership even when start-up time takes longer. Creating an ownership base over a renter’s space seems to have positive effect on our community’s ability to manage successfully. Look to St. Louis Pagan Picnic and see this level of cooperation, this sense of ownership, in their event, as a potential model for other cities.
In my travels, I have seen all kinds of types of ownership styles in Pagans. They are seemingly different from each other, but at the heart of them, is respect, love, and a desire to protect the common good, as represented by whatever they are stewarding. Be it land, libraries, or even something like camping equipment, the desire to protect, reuse, and add value to be strong in all the groups that have lasted decades. More that individual ownership, but representative of community ownership as well, and a collective desire to do well by all involved.
So ownership is the hidden power, the great potential in our community. While it has been in the shadows, it is because that we are growing so rapidly and so many voices are claiming the right way to expand us in the future, the bulk of the community is not even aware of the ownership that we possess. This is a place we must look and honor. Ownership is a key to future Pagan prosperity, and something that can help get us all to work.