Monday, December 21, 2015

A Dwelling Place ~ Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts Quarterly Meeting

"As to our own planet which God has given us for a dwelling place, we must be mindful that it is given in stewardship. The power over nature that scientific knowledge has put into our hands, if used in lust or greed, fear or hatred, can bring us to utter destruction. If we choose life we may now feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick on a world scale, thus creating new conditions for spiritual advancement so often till now prevented by want. Many of our resources – of oil, of coal and of uranium – are limited. If by condoning waste and luxury we overspend the allowance God has given us, our children’s children will be cheated of their inheritance. Limited too is the annual bounty of nature. The material foundation of our life is the tilling of the earth and the growing of food… We must conserve the goodness of the soil and not exploit it.

We must guard, too, the abundance and variety of untamed nature, and not forget the spiritual resources available to us in the continued existence of unoccupied lands. Modern civilisation perpetually threatens our awareness of the true nature of our being which in the presence of the wild we can more easily retain or at length recapture. Year by year silence and solitude are growing more needful, yet harder to obtain, and contacts, by this means, with the mind of the Creator more tenuous. To conserve nature is thus again a contribution to the fuller life of mankind."

Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts Quarterly Meeting, 1957



More at http://qfp.quaker.org.uk/passage/25-07/

Artwork from Mariann Johansen-Ellis  http://www.mariannjohansen-ellis.com/en/Home.html

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas in Prison ~ Richard Scatchard

"The festive season is upon us, the shops full of all sorts of expensive gifts – ‘things that one has always needed’! It is supposed to be the season of happiness and joy for everyone. As we know much of it is unreal, an opportunity for commercial exploitation. For many people, it can, in reality, be a period of great sadness, loneliness and strife. You can look at Christmas in a number of ways: one could say that it is people’s own choice to spend large sums of money; or, one can see it as a time when parents/individuals are left in an impossible situation – so much pressure to buy ever more extravagant gifts and food and drink. So much of twenty-first century Christmases seems to be at odds with the Quaker testimony of simplicity.

‘Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?’

.......So, in reality, life in prison at Christmas can vary a lot. It often comes down to which prison one is in; but, much more importantly, it’s down to the attitude and the state of mind of the prisoner. To some prisoners, Christmas is still the best time of the year, something different and something to look forward to and remember. To others, it is the worst time of the year; one to get through as soon as possible – dying for things to get back to ‘normal’, the standard, predictable, daily routine. It obviously has to be remembered that the vast majority of prisoners spending Christmas behind bars are there because of their own actions – it is not society’s fault. Sometimes in prison it is easy for prisoners to start feeling sorry for themselves, rather than remembering or taking responsibility for the extra pain and distress they have put their families, friends and victims through – something felt even more so at Christmas time."

~ Richard Scatchard

More at https://thefriend.org/article/christmas-in-prison-a-christmas-in-hell (Well worth reading).






You can also try the video of this fine John Prine Song!



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Measured by Money ~ John Ruskin

“What right have you to take the word wealth, which originally meant ''well-being,'' and degrade and narrow it by confining it to certain sorts of material objects measured by money.”

~ John Ruskin


More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ruskin

Artwork by the very talented Dee Nickerson http://deenickerson.com/

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One Chance ~ Jimmy Carter

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

~ Jimmy Carter


More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter

Artwork from Aijung Kim http://aijungkim.com/home.html

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Connection ~ Dean Ornish

 "In short, anything that promotes a sense of isolation often leads to illness and suffering. Anything that promotes a sense of love and intimacy, connection and community, is healing."

~ Dean Ornish


More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Ornish

Artwork from Clifford Harper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifford_Harper (If you know nothing about him it's worth taking a look.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mending and Tending ~ Roger Scruton

"It is one of the joys of country life that you are immersed in a culture of mending and tending. There is something ungrateful in the habit of throwing things away. You also feel more at home when you support the world that supports you and tend to the needs of things that you need."

~ Roger Scruton




(PS Please don't assume that I agree with all Roger Scruton writes ~ I positively don't! HQ)

More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Scruton

Artwork from Unknown Artist
https://www.etsy.com/listing/179929497/singer-linocut-with-hand-colouring?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

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