Piety is one of those words that has been slandered though misuse. The image of starched collared Sunday church go-ers, leaving church to seep themselves in sin and vice has long been the image I associate with piety. Piety is not synonymous with hypocrisy. It has taken me many years to realize this. Piety is the strength and fortitude to live out one’s faith in right actions and practice. It takes deep commitment to keep a daily devotional practice. It takes strength of wisdom, and conscious living to try to apply the nine virtues to daily activity, and it requires a willingness to come before the Kindreds in humility and reverence to learn what actions are required and expected of us. Duty, fealty, obedience, passion, and right religion are the true forms of piety. As I practice piety more with my daily devotions I have come to see the benefit of committed pious actions. The actions themselves have begun to influence how I look at the world. By performing simple rituals of a candle lighting with prayer beads, a quick step outside three times a day to feel my feet on the Earth in my back yard, or just the nighttime routine of laying still and allowing my meditation practice to hold up my prone body, I find myself feeling more of a connection to the rhythms of the day and to the life that teems around me; I feel my place in this world come into sharper focus; I feel connected.
Amanda Thomas is the Grove Organizer for the Ad Astra Grove. She also serves on the Topeka Interfaith Council.