Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our Children ~ Elizabeth Watson


"Our children are given to us for a time to cherish, to protect, to nurture, and then to salute as they go their separate ways. They too have the light of God within, and a family should be a learning community in which children not only learn skills and values from parents, but in which adults learn new ways of experiencing things and seeing things through young eyes. From their birth on, let us cultivate the habit of dialogue and receptive listening. We should respect their right to grow into their own wholeness, not just the wholeness we may wish for them. If we lead fulfilling lives ourselves, we can avoid overprotecting them or trying to live through them... The family is a place to practise being 'valiant for the truth'. We can live lives of integrity, letting both 'yes' and 'no' come out of the depth of truth within us, careful of the truth in all our dealings, so that our words and our lives speak the same message. We cannot expect our children to be honest with us or anyone else if they hear us stretching the truth for convenience or personal gain. They are quick to catch such discrepancies. Moreover, we should trust them enough to be honest with them about family problems - disasters, serious illness, impending death. It is far harder on children not to know what is wrong."

Elizabeth Watson 1980

More at  http://www.fwccamericas.org/publications/wqf/2006_May-June/TheMotheroftheSonsofZebedee.pdf




Friday, September 28, 2012

Fears of Discovering ~ Iris Graville


"I know that many people throughout the world face the kind of conflict that threatens their lives. I’m blessed to live in a time and place that is not fraught with such violence, fortunate to rarely encounter hostility in my daily life. And yet, I don’t feel in unity with everyone, at all times. Whether it’s in my Quaker Meeting, at work, in my family, or among friends and community, sometimes tempers flare, opposing views swirl, or anger erupts. When that happens, there’s the familiar churn of my stomach. My heart races, my throat closes up, my head throbs. I’m afraid.

The conflicts most common in my life stir fears of discovering I’m wrong or have made a mistake. I succumb to old beliefs from childhood that there is a “right” way to act or believe, as if there is only one right answer. I fear disapproval and rejection. In introductory psychology, I learned that animals respond to fear in one of two ways – fight or flight. I don’t want to do either, yet engaging with the differences brings a pounding to my chest.

Quaker practice has taught me to listen, to lead with a question instead of defending my opinion. When I remember to ask, rather than answer, I open myself to the possibility that there is something for me to learn."

~ Iris Graville



Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Day Without Any One ~ Maya Angelou


“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

― Maya Angelou





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