October Quarterly Meeting discussion — Part One!

October Quarterly Meeting’s Program Invited Each of Us to be Renewed and Active

The program at Western Quarterly Meeting on October 15 was built to let Friends to discover what Non-Violence means for them, personally. In the last two paragraphs, you will see the heart of Friends’ overall message, calling us to be inspired by PEACE. (The double-negative word Non-Violence may seem less inspiring or more technical).

Tonya Thames Taylor (Fallowfield Meeting) gave a brief overview of concepts of Peace and noted that while some definitions picture Peace as “passive”, there are deeper definitions in which we see concepts of mutual communication, support, and creativity; reconciliation where there was conflict; and sharing of resources within the human community and with ALL, including a sharing that allows other species and habitats to survive or thrive.

Friend Tonya concluded with parts of a video from QuakerSpeak (Google will get you to QuakerSpeak) in which Friend George Lakey (Central Philadelphia Meeting) suggests that perhaps we are in a paradigm shift, like the time when people shifted from being convinced that the earth was flat, to being convinced that the earth is round. Perhaps people are seeing that non-violence is more effective than violence. Erica Chenoweth’s study, written in an award winning book: Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict found 26% of violent campaigns for social changes were successful (and more of those promoting tyranny), while 53% of non-violent campaigns were successful (and more of those were promoting democracy).

Then came the real heart of our program: Friends were directed toward studying our personal stories, shared in specific for all to ponder. With the personal stories and with other personal experiences unspoken, Friends began to feel that Peace is a verb, and that Love is the main action. Our deep fears will prevent us from connecting in a Light or Loving way and fears will create a violent response until we search our fears, and until we listen with deep attention to the lives and emotions of others.

Each of us is invited to do HOMEWORK for next Quarterly Meeting in mid-January at Kennett Meetinghouse: Set an intention of creating some Peace. Try the experiment in a way new for you, and see where this experiment leads.  We should all bring our results to Kennett in January!

-Gail Newbold
-Nov. 2017 London Grove MM Bulletin

Comments are closed.