Today when I was running my M. H. and Early Recovery group, a couple of the clients asked what we do here for Halloween. Before I had a chance to respond, another client jumped in and stated that Halloween was an "evil" day. I tried to explain the true meaning of the holiday in a way they could understand...celebration of the end of summer and beginning of winter....a day to honor our ancestors...that there is nothing evil or bad about the day. Needless to say, almost the entire group was taken up with discussions of witches, ghosts, and goblins. Well, I think...or at least I hope, that I finally got my point across.
Ha! Just another day in the life of a pagan living in the city. Sometimes it is not that easy. Now, this might put my situation into more perspective for you. I am a Druid, a pagan; I live in a primarily Hasidic neighborhood with a few Pentacostals scattered about. My husband is Catholic, my eldest son is a Christian, and my youngest son is an atheist. So, as you can see, I live in a general hodgepodge of beliefs. Actually, it is not really so bad. I respect others, their views and their religions, and I try to be open-minded and to listen and learn. The trick is to stop worrying about what others think about you. If you truly believe in your faith, do you really need others to validate what you do or who you are?
If you don't go out of your way to push or even try to convert others, for the most part I have found that people coming from different backgrounds and upbringings usually will get along. It's when one tries to push their beliefs on others that issues arise. I am tolerant of my son's beliefs just as I wish him to be tolerant of mine. But even he, who has grown up with a pagan mother, has no true understanding what it means.
The trick is to enjoy your life, doing the things that make you feel good without harming yourself or anyone else...living your life to the fullest. Life is too full of beauty to live with regrets. Although I love being a pagan, one thing that I have learned is, you cannot just blurt it out to everyone. You have to think about the consequences. For example, I think today I was able to quell the untruthfulness of some nasty tales about Samhain, but, if my group had known I was a pagan, would they have been so quick to accept what I had to teach? There are a couple people here on my job that know I am a Druid, but that's about it. Some are more open than others.