“Does my life reflect my values and beliefs?” This query is often on my mind, and probably yours too. As a child in Mountain View Friends Meeting (Denver), I learned the Quaker belief that there is “that of God in everyone,” sometimes called “the Light within.” The Light is our best and most holy potential, our goodness, our groundedness, our Truth.
My experience as a Navy pilot for a third of my life is fundamental to who I am. The military has significantly impacted my experience as a Quaker. This is most evident to me when I compare the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Peace with the military codes and traditions that have shaped me.
My Quaker meeting knew I’d long been enraged about our country’s misadventures in the Middle East. They knew I’d been volunteering at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, but they didn’t really know what I’d done about the fury that possessed me. This is a testimony to what can be done when we think we’re faced with helplessness.