Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The virtue of piety

One of the virtues of being an ADF Druid is that of piety. Though not exclusive to ADF, piety is something that we Druid's tend to excel at. So I present for your edification my understanding of this precious under used virtue. The following is an article written for my Dedicant Study Program.

Virtue: Piety

Piety is defined as being: the state or quality of being pious, especially religious devotion and reverence to one’s gods or devotion and reverence to one’s friends; and family, thought, act, or statement. Before writing this essay, piety would not have been a word that I would have used concerning myself, mostly due to misunderstanding the meaning of the word. Piety is a virtue that is sadly lacking in use, for it lends so much power to one’s life, giving integrity to individuals and in many cases helping people find the courage to live their lives day to day.

Piety from the stand point of faith in one’s gods brings the deity closer to their worshiper, becoming more tangible. When one shows devotion to a god or goddess, in the form of ritual and offerings, the attention from that god or goddess is drawn to the worshiper. In return for this reverence to the gods, they themselves honor the worshipers with their reverence and favors. The act of being pious brings a sense of harmony into being that allows the divine energies to find ways into our lives. Piety creates paths for that energy to bring into being what we have asked for, either a blessing or help with mundane issues that would be closed off otherwise. With the connection that is created with the divine and kindred, it does not look like a person is all ‘give me, give me, give me’ when they are turning to them for help. The relation that is built between them then becomes a friendship, then is seen as a friend turning to another friend in a time of need. And we should not be surprised when the call comes to us for the same. Also by this showing of faith and piety we teach those around us that there is validity to living a life of true piety no matter what your faith. When others see this they then in turn have a tendency to look inward themselves to find their own piety and connection with their deities. These effects are cumulative. Over time the more one works towards piety the stronger one’s piety and faith becomes, the more favor and stronger the connection with the gods will become. The stronger this connection becomes, the more of an inspiration the worshipper becomes to those around them. Piety is a virtue that allows one person to change the world.

Piety among friends and family is something that has very quickly begun to erode in modern society, at least within the American society. The lack of conviction and integrity eats away at the foundation of trust that pious actions build. To have that kind of trust, that kind of piety, is no more a struggle with friends and family than it is with the divine. It is a matter of building friendships, helping one another when it’s needed and sticking by what one believes in no matter what. That can be hard especially when it is a friend or a family member that is going against what you believe in. By staying true, pious, to one’s beliefs in the end shows one the strength of character that people need in a friend. It shows people that there is trust and stability that will keep you at their side. There are very few things greater than the knowledge that you can turn to a friend or a family member for support, love, and understanding. But you must also be willing and able to give back in return. If the actions are merely one sided there is nothing pious about the relationship, it then becomes a care taking relationship. Then trust and royalty begin to fail. As with the divine others see the piety in our love for friends and family, as well as the lack of it in tertiary and disseat. 

Piety is not something that should be practiced just for the divine. It should be an action that follows us through all aspects of our lives. The act of piety allows inner connection with all beings in a way that trust, respect, integrity, courage and friendship are built to the benefit of all both mundane and spiritual alike.

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