The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols
By The Madame Webb of Temple House Sahjaza, 2012 - Reprinted with permission
In this year of the Dragon 2012, in real life and in fiction, co-existence and harmony with each other is what we are trying to achieve, yet we seem to be failing. Respect and protocols have been thrown out like food that’s gone bad.
This epidemic has been all over the news lately with reports of students attacking teachers, the bus monitor who recorded the abuse she received from young passengers. Even within the new season of True Blood, respect for the Elders and co-existence is the rampant theme.
In North America -- the land where no one wants to grow old and myriads of ways to cheat aging and death -- having elderly people around seems to remind us of our own fragility, mortality and eventual end. Like toddlers who don’t know any better, people are lashing out at this reaction of fear inside of their subconscious.
There’s no excuse for this. We all know better and we must lead by example.
Living Vampyres are not impervious to aging or death. Since we aren’t excluded from these life stages, we will not look down upon our elders within the mundane world or the Vampyre scene. This will not be tolerated.
Along with age comes the nomenclature of titles that the Vampyre scene uses. It is the duty of the Sahjaza to promote and recognize the fellowship and value in the existence of Houses, Orders and Temples. We will always continue to support their growth and permanency within the Vampyre scene. As such we will uphold and respect all titles and positions of authority from each group.
Sahjaza has existed over 30 years from its beginnings in 1976 because of the civility and decorum that we have established and instituted within our walls and Family. It is what has separated and defined “us” from the rest of “them.” We are not unintelligent bumbling barbarians. The best way to influence the rest of the scene -- which is slowly lacking in all manners of respect – is to lead by example.
Within our own Family, it is up to the Adra to make sure that their Nadja follows our Code of Conduct and addresses all Elders by their full and formal nightside name, and the Nadja/lower in title/position may choose to honor them by including their title in the address, which is up to their discretion. For example, “Greetings Goddess Rosemary, Temple Sahjaza Matriarch,” or “Greetings Goddess Rosemary.” Use of addressing Goddess Rosemary as Mother should be used in private, not public functions, thus propitiating the use of her proper name by others who will follow your example, and to address her as Mother should only be thereafter first initial addressing to our spiritual leader, and Temple Matriarch, as Goddess Rosemary.
There is a chain of command that should be followed for communicating ideas, issues, challenges, problems or general feedback, A new Family member should approach their Adra or sponsor, and thus they would go to their own Adra or closest Elder, and up to the Priestesses, and from there to the Matriarch.
The reasons for this protocol are many. Sometimes viewing a situation from the perspective of another can resolve an issue before it reaches the Matriarch. If it is for another occasion, such as an introduction or an event idea, then the Adra has the esteemed pleasure of presenting their Nadja (who has clearly respected our titles and chain of command while following proper procedure) what a grand display of respect and honor this is and all will benefit from it.
1. We will respect all of our Elders, of title and or physical age, and we will hold them in high regard. We value all that we can learn from them. Let us take for example the Native American path. Hardly any cultural group is attending to and learning from Elders as they should, or could be. Elders are assets and rewarding resources; much more learned then our beloved “Google.” There is still plenty to be learned about the world and how to live in it. We learn by listening and respecting Elders, not just in our community, but also in the world at large. Elders have a master’s degree from the University of Life. What they allow to be shared with us is a gift.
2. The men within Sahjaza will be chivalrous at all times.
3. The women within Sahjaza will conduct themselves as confident ladies.
4. We are the embodiments of elegance, class, intelligence, hospitality, loyalty, honesty, fairness, and compassion.
5. The Sahjaza do not engage in or get embroiled or involved with drama or rumors within the Vampyric scene. It’s unproductive and a waste of energy.
6. The Sahjaza shall respect all titles of members within other Households or Orders. If attending an event hosted by another House or Order, we can make a formal introduction in writing about our support and appearance at their upcoming event. All applications of common sense will be used. For example, if they are your host, compose yourself with esteemed gratitude. Composure is key, act according to the event and your surroundings. This also applies to online events as well. When an Elder expresses an opinion on a group or page, thank them for sharing their knowledge – even if you do not agree with what was expressed.
7. We will do and assist all that is within our power to co-exist in harmony with other Houses or Orders so that we may all benefit from the connection and networking within the Vampyric scene.
We urge you to set the bar up high, be a good role model and lead by example. Show the mundane world and our community that when it comes to general good manners, civility and respecting all whom you come in contact with, the Sahjaza proves that on some level, everyone is worthy of your respect. You do not have to like someone to treat them with respect. What you project and how you behave, becomes the perception, and given back. Like begets like.
Sahjaza Family members are asked to always think before they act. This means that our own personal opinions may have to be put aside for the betterment of the community, Family and scene. We are always representing Sahjaza in all that we do at any given moment. One must never lose site of that and what that means. We must strive to be better. This is our duty because this is what separates “us” from “them.”
Balance, Unity, Twilight!
The Madame Webb