Don’t Be A Dick

This is the official unofficial Kemetic motto. We should embroider it on doilies and carve it in stone. If nothing else, write it on a note with a marker and stick it on the edge of your computer monitor. Go ahead and draw a dick on it to go along with the message. You know you want to.

“Don’t be a dick” is a modern interpretation of the idea of living in ma’at. There are many interpretations of what exactly ma’at entails, but I see it as the balance that holds the world, as we know it, together. It keeps us alive and healthy. It keeps our communities strong. It makes for a well-tuned ecosystem, among other things. We rarely achieve perfect balance, because the world isn’t perfect, but as long as we live, we can keep working on improvement.

One of the central images of Kemeticism is the image of the deities, most often Set, but sometimes others are shown, fighting against a giant snake Apep. We strike out its name because we never want to add to its power. It is an embodiment of isfet, the force that goes against ma’at. If the snake wins, the sun is devoured and we can kiss our rear ends goodbye. Ma’at nourishes our gods, while isfet, makes the snake stronger. We REALLY don’t want it to win, not even once.

So, live in ma’at, or else. What is the or else? The gods will punish you? Maybe, depending on how badly you’ve screwed up. But no, the “or else” is that when you don’t, you are picking at the threads that hold the world together. (You know that place where you live where you keep all your stuff?) It doesn’t take a belief in gods to get behind that reasoning.

Let’s bring it back to “Don’t Be a Dick.” There is a lot more to ma’at than whether or not you’re a jerk to others, but it’s a good place to start. It’s simple. The “or else” here might not mean the end of the world, but when you act like a dick, especially in public, either outside or online, you are picking at the threads that hold your community together. You know, that place where you like to hang out? That second family? The place where you post your stuff?

Try to speak within ma’at. Tell the truth, as you understand it, but don’t use it as a weapon to cut others. You win nothing by “winning” arguments on the internet. Building a community is a win. Helping others is a win. Making people feel welcome and safe is a win. Teaching those who want to learn is a win. Listening and learning are huge wins.

And if someone tries your patience so badly that you’re just not feeling the ma’at, then execrate them as we execrate the snake. That’s what the block/delete/ignore button is for. Don’t let anyone drag you down to their level. You don’t owe them anything.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Dick

  1. My specific set of issues revolve around attention/inclusion and perceived neglect, and I’ve found that thinking on Set has helped me parse this a lot:
    If it legitimately wants to swallow your light, then destroy it, if anything less, then even if it feels like it’s stealing your thunder, ask yourself if it’s really only trying to share your sky.

    Heru, or the Eye of Heru, has really helped with this as a topic of meditation, too:
    What is your injury cycle? Can you identify and learn to recognize it before you reach your blind spot?

    It’s still a lot easier if you feel like you have friends to go to and K.O. has been good for that in that it offers ready socialization (I have zero interest in Tumblr,) but these have been incredibly effective. It’s great when you finally find stories that work for you so foundationally.

    –A reformed dick.

  2. veggiewolf says:

    I think, too, that often Kemetics are good at “don’t be a dick” when it comes to others, but not so much to ourselves. Upholding ma’at also means applying Wheaton’s Law in our own direction.

    Great post, shezep. Hope you don’t mind if I reblog it.

  3. veggiewolf says:

    Reblogged this on Fluid Morality and commented:
    Seriously, don’t be a dick.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s