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

Beyond Linear Thinking (review) Beyond Linear Thinking (2022) is a page-turner in which Linda Seger uses humor, spiritual wisdom, and practical advice, supported by scientific research, to describe ways of moving beyond linear, competitive, hierarchical, patriarchal thinking – toward cooperation, equality, and diversity. I love the metaphors of line, circle, spiral, and web that she uses to explore these different thinking models. I also like her repetition of this point: holding a goal larger than the self is one way to avoid the pitfalls of pride and the pettiness of hierarchy.

On Perception (March 2023)

The “Why” of What We Do I had an occasion recently to hear some young Friends talk about ministry services they are performing on behalf of Quakers. I have nothing but heartfelt compliments for their generous spirits and their hard work in pursuit of making the world a more humane, just, and merciful place. In light of the significant proportion of their cohort who are NOT volunteering in such efforts, I feel special appreciation that these young people are rising well above what seems to be the present norm of disengagement. For their good and faithful work, I am grateful.

On Loss (May 2023)

My Slaves Many listeners get the wrong idea from hearing me talk about the fact that so many of us in 2023 own child slaves in the Congo, children who are mining cobalt for our electric vehicles and coltan for our cellphones, computers, and other electronic contraptions. Upon hearing this, most American slaveholders (like me) tend to think of cruel and evil plantation masters, sole proprietors who use their slaves to enhance their personal wealth. Such ideas are based on the way cotton was raised in the South before the Civil War, then sold to mills in the North and to England. Merchants would personally buy and sell human chattel when opportunities arose or when personal economic setbacks forced them. Ancillary enterprises also benefitted, of course, like the production of manacles and chains. Slave catchers had a healthy business, too.

On Loss (May 2023)

What Friends Bring to Politics

A few other Oregon Quakers and I were in an online book group. We read We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign. This book consists of fifty-three essays, each just two or three pages long, each including Scriptural references. It’s by and for people who are working towards more dignity for poor people – by challenging the ways that our institutions keep people in poverty. This book makes one thing clear to me – local government policies and actions have been major drivers of economic inequity throughout the history of our nation, especially in terms of housing inequality. It also seems clear to me that this level of democracy – the local level – is a critical place for us to work to make a positive impact on these issues.

On Dignity (July 2023)

Radical Welcome It was curiosity to see if there were still people called Quakers that brought me to my first meeting at Frank and Jeanine Walker’s home on McLeod Avenue. It was radical welcome that kept me coming.

On Dignity (July 2023)

God’s Part in Our Art (review) In her 2021 book, God’s Part in Our Art: Making Friends with the Creative Spirit, Linda Seger uses examples from numerous artistic professions, as well as her own personal stories, to show the process and joy of being an artist. I found this book to be deeply enjoyable and spirituality grounding, even though I don’t practice an art form myself. It spoke to me as a person who tries to approach life generally in a creative way.

On Dignity (July 2023)

The Flint and Light of Respect This is a testimony to the value and differences of Quaker and Indigenous ways of respect as I know them. Quaker testimonies were taught to me through words and light. Indigenous teachings were relayed with the spark of truth and few, if any, words. I find it difficult to use words to describe the latter, but I will try because I was asked to do so.

On Dignity (July 2023)