Agree to Disagree

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Dear Editor: I enjoyed your editorial in the last issue of Western Friend (Sept/Oct 2017), especially this: “Each Friends’ community must decide for itself what range of behaviors it can tolerate within its spiritual home. Some will feel called to walk closely beside those who ‘walk disorderly;’ some will feel called to try talking some sense into that guy in the castle; still others will feel called to stay home and bake bread.” I read that to my husband, because he’s the one who feels “called to stay home and bake bread.” Except for being the recording secretary for our El Paso meeting, he turns down every Quaker job he’s been asked to do – in spite of his considerable talents in reporting, writing, and editing! I don’t understand this, but he doesn’t understand my need to “go, do, and be,” either.

I think we sometimes love people “in spite of” as well as “because of.” This all reminds me of a couple I knew in Nebraska over forty years ago. They had been married fifty-plus years and still didn’t agree on how to pronounce their last name. That was the beginning of my realization that you could be married for fifty years and still not agree on everything. And that it was all right!

– Vona Van Cleef, El Paso Meeting (IMYM)

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