Quaker Disrespect

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Dear Western Friend: Thank you for publishing Rob Pierson’s article in the last issue of your magazine. The article is substantial, but does not cover what I experience as some Quakers’ suspicion of any companies, even small ones, including non-profits – ones that practice prudent business processes and employ management, ones that may ask their Boards to use Robert’s Rules rather than “consensus.”

In many years as part of a Quaker meeting, I thought finding “the sense of the meeting” was important in business meeting and to the spiritual life of the meeting – though it did not always require unanimous agreement. 

In a different kind of business, one that involves many people besides Quakers, when the business must act with clear accountability for funds, or may be highly regulated because of its social or healthcare responsibilities, I often see some Quakers obstruct decisions by lengthy indecision or opposition to the idea of “management,” regardless of the need to carry business forward and create a viable future. Something has broken down in Quakerism and is preventing respect for competence, vision, and trust.  ~~~

– Andrea English, Santa Rosa, CA,    Strawberry Creek Meeting (PYM)