What should a Druid be doing at the moment? What does Druidry have to bring to these strange and troubled times in which we find ourselves?
I am reminded of Iolo Morganwg’s “The Truth Against The World.” Let’s skip over Morganwg’s messy relationship with truth for now. We’ve seen years of effort internationally to undermine the very concept of truth. We’ve seen people demanding to have unfounded opinions taken as seriously as evidenced theories. We’ve got fake news, and a political culture of lying. We live in an age of bots, where fake people promote fake stories at the expense of reality. Sometimes, I look at what gets spread that way and I find I don’t even know where to start. We live in webs of misinformation, illusion, gaslighting and denial.
It may well be the work of a Druid to speak the truth, but it’s difficult when so many people don’t want to hear it.
Many people seem hungry for simple solutions and are happy to blame someone else rather than deal with complex realities. Reality is complicated. Simple ‘truths’ that divide the world into good/bad, and us/them, do us so much more harm than good, but it’s hard to pitch something nuanced when you’re in a climate of gross generalisations and a disinterest in detail.
Perhaps it will make little or no difference to speak the truth. Perhaps it will change nothing to defend research, evidence, experts and reason. But I think we should do it anyway. Because for me, Druidry is in part about doing what is right and what is honourable even when that might not get you anywhere. It’s the importance of what we do for its own sake, not just the focus on achievement. Perhaps we are all going to hell in a handcart, but in the meantime, it makes sense to point out the nature of the handcart and the hell we trundle towards. And maybe sing as we go, about what might have worked better.