Western Friend logo

Search

A search result that is a person’s name followed by “(person)” often links to a list of articles written by that person.

Forging a Relationship with Self When I was a child, I craved quiet places where I could be alone with my feelings. Sometimes I would go along the side of the house where camellia and pomegranate grew or down the stone steps to a small orchard under a tangerine tree in full fruit. Later in life, when I was old enough to be trusted, I would venture to a meadow and lie down in the tall grasses or climb high in a tree. Each of these places offered an essential opportunity to experience my inner being. [pullquote]Children have access to this “still small voice” in nature, preferably alone, where they can connect with their dreams and harness themselves for disappointment, which will surely come in life.[/pullquote]

On Place (May 2022)

News as Spiritual Exercise It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the torrents that flow from TV, radio, social media, and the occasional print publication. Vast arrays of information, persuasion, entertainment, and junk threaten our sanity. They can also condition our attitudes and perceptions in ways that we are not even aware of. As Friends, we want to engage with news media in ways that reflect our deepest values. But how?

On Cliques (September 2021)

Playing Violent Games in Peace In his recent article, “ISIS’s Call of Duty,” Jay Caspian Kang describes similarities between ISIS recruitment films and first-person-shooter games – similarities that are likely intentional (The New Yorker, September 18, 2014). Kang’s article is one of many that play into a larger debate about the role of violent videogames and other violent media in our culture. This debate has continued unresolved for decades, and both sides often succumb to strong emotions and hyperbolic statements. I feel this leads to a shutdown in communication between groups, and that is the issue I would like to address in this article.

On Temptation (November 2014)

The Seventh Person According to philosopher William James, “Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” This elegantly describes the nature of our relationships with others. Through our biases and subjectivities, we create views of the world that may not actually exist. These become even more difficult to untangle when social media is added to the mix.

On Media (September 2016)

Finding Truth in the Time of Hysteria Before they were nicknamed Quakers, the early converts of Fox called themselves the Publishers of Truth. But in today’s world of manufactured news, click bait, and iPhone reporting – What is the truth?  No matter what news source you subscribe to, our media seem to thrive on hysteria. The world is about to collapse from global warming, ISIS, international bankers, too much control, too little control, the breakdown of the family, racism, globalism, nationalism, the fraying of our social fabric or all of the above.

On Media (September 2016)

Love the Prisoner Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is the branch of Homeland Security that runs immigration detention centers in jails and prisons across our nation.  Because most detainees are not charged with “crimes,” they are held in “civil” detention. This particular fact is at the heart of my story. Men and women held in immigration detention have none of the “rights” we associate with our criminal justice system: no right to an attorney, no right to a speedy trial, no right to a phone call, no right to have visitors.  ICE often shuffles detainees among different facilities around the country.  This means that for families and friends, their loved ones can suddenly disappear to places too far away to visit. 

On Love (September 2013)