This is another one of those will-probably-piss-people-off posts.
I’ve heard through the grapevine (and poked around a bit to confirm) that the latest thing people are making a kerfuffle over is that some people are teaching who are perceived to be relatively new and inexperienced, and other people told them to slow down, stop teaching, and get a little more time and experience under their belt. Cue theatrics and so forth.
You know what? The critics are right. And I know that’s not what you wanted to hear.
Some people learn very fast (or think that they have) and feel ready to teach after a few weeks. Please don’t. While it’s good to share tips and tricks with fellow students, just as students would in a classroom, things that look deceptively simple and safe sometimes aren’t. Just because you’ve finished your My First Chemistry Kit doesn’t mean you can teach a Chemistry class or lab. If your students set themselves on fire with the Bunsen burner or kill themselves with toxic fumes because you didn’t know that particular reaction needed ventilation, guess the fuck what? That’s on you.
Trust me when I say I’ve seen people hurt other people in this way before. Later on, it’s passed off as “oh, well, they should have known better than to do that” or “they should have known that I was a beginner level and to take what I said with a grain of salt” or so forth. The person who was doing the teaching washes their hands of responsibility and shoves the onus entirely on the person who got hurt.
You are not absolved. If you instruct someone on how to do something, you mess up, and someone gets harmed in one way or another, whether that means horrible things in a spirit realm or making terrible life decisions or ending up in the hospital because they had a meltdown, you have at least partial responsibility. Shit is not less dangerous and with fewer permanent effects because it’s spirit stuff. This is not a fancy LARP game.
If you don’t have a lot of experience under your belt, enough to have a good idea of all the things that can go wrong, and the skill to unfuck a bad situation should your student massively screw up and need help? Don’t teach. Think you’re totally ready? Wait a bit longer and make sure. I understand wanting to help people and show them how to do neat things, but safety and ethics comes first.
Which brings me to a second point: some people aren’t in the whole teaching gig because they want to help, or feel like they have a duty to. Some people are in it for their egos. They will lie about their experience levels. They will lie about knowing how to do things, because they think their reputation will be risked by admitting they don’t know something, and so they will make up shit to maintain the facade of the expert. Sometimes that made-up shit has the potential to hurt you if you try it. If someone seems to be in the game predominantly to stroke their own ego and get lots of attention, run in the opposite direction.
People lie, on the internet and in offline life. Maintain a healthy dose of skepticism and protect yourself. Please. Bandaging people up in the aftermath is heartbreaking work. The more serious injuries that can be avoided, the better.