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On Play (letter)

Dear Editor:  It was wonderful to see an entire issue of Western Friend devoted to play! (Sept/Oct 2015) As a retired childcare director who believes in the value of play for young children, I am thrilled.

On Money (November 2015)

Seventieth in Nagasaki

At 11:02 on August 9th, 2015, the bell at the rear of Nagasaki Peace Park began to peal. It was the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of that city. A siren’s wail soon overtook the bell with its shrill, piercing alarm. With my head deeply bowed, I prayed for the sound to carry my sorrow-filled compassion to all the spirits of the dead: the tens of thousands killed instantly by the atomic blast above that very spot; and the tens of thousands more who suffered cruelly lingering deaths, burning from the inside out. I summoned all the intensity of my longing to be present as an Amen. Then the moment was over.

On Countries (January 2016)

Some Math

Dear Friends: I want like to share with you an item I read in The Advocate (New Orleans newspaper) and my own mathematical reflections on it.  On November 19, 2015, the Advocate reported that the U.S. drops an average of 2,228 bombs a month in Syria and Iraq, at a cost of $11.1 million a day.

On Countries (January 2016)

Dangerous Tipping Point

Dear Editor: I just finished reading the latest issue of Western Friend [Nov/Dec 2015]. The subject of Quakers and economics is something I have thought about a great deal. I often think, “Well, you don’t get bonus points for good intentions and bad outcomes.” The Quakers, at least in the past, were better than others at linking good intentions to good outcomes.

On Countries (January 2016)

Quaker Culture: Right Action

For Friends the most important consideration is not the right action in itself but a right inward state out of which right action will arise. Given the right inward state right action is inevitable. Inward state and outward action are component parts of a single whole.

On Countries (January 2016)

Passage Out of Chaos

I began attending Quaker Meeting at a time of darkness – it was both Winter Solstice, and I was struggling with life transitions. My husband and I had recently moved to Washington from my hometown in Missouri. Six months prior to our move, my grandfather had passed away. I struggled with my sense of family in the face of loss, and home in the face of moving.

On Beginning (March 2016)

My Quest to Change the Education System

A normal school day in a traditional public school is full of many issues that go against Quaker values. These issues tend to have a negative impact on students and, therefore, the world surrounding them. The issues include, but aren’t limited to, the ineffective use of textbooks in the classroom, students unconsciously being taught to hate certain subjects, students losing their love of learning, rushing in the classroom, over-reliance on standardized testing, and the ineffective use of homework. These issues and many others led me, a student, to focus on transforming the education system to make it better for both students and teachers.

On Beginning (March 2016)

Eastern Light - Review

Eastern Light: Awakening to Presence in Zen, Quakerism and Christianity

On Beginning (March 2016)

On Limits

As almost any four-year-old child could tell you, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a great big box, you’ll need to cut holes in it before you can make it into a house. Or as “the old man” (Lao Tsu) said, “Profit comes from what is there; usefulness from what is not there.”

On Limits (May 2016)