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Trust is Key Dear Editor: I enjoyed Robert Levering’s interview in the July/August issue, “A Great Place to Work,” because amongst all the negativity and suspicion today, it is uplifting to know that many corporations are great (not perfect) places to work. He identified trust between employee and management as the key ingredient. Trust develops at many depths, but perhaps at some level, there is a connection between good corporate governance and Quaker worship values. William Taber (Four Doors to Meeting for Worship) expressed it well: “….trust [is] a synonym of faith, for it takes trust to go out into the deep water.” Wading into any community generally involves some deep water. I’m grateful to Robert for rediscovering trust as essential.

On Children (September 2018)

Another Home Interview with Anastacia Easterling

On Family (September 2014)

A New Intimacy I have always longed to be part of a community. But it has become clear to me lately that “belonging” depends on being accountable. I do not mean this in a quid pro quo sense, like an accountant balancing the books. I mean this in the sense of family members being accountable to each other, where they care for each other, and they all contribute as much as they are able. In the intimacy of a family, each member accepts a sense of vulnerability to the others. They put their trust in each other. They know that each person’s conduct reflects on the family as a whole. They know that they owe the family the consideration of behaving in ways that reflect well on it. The family has a right to expect the members to account for their behavior. By being accountable in an intimate setting, people strengthen the bonds of love among them.

On Beginning (March 2016)

Radical Vulnerability Revisited In moving from Claremont to Los Angeles this year, one of the hardest transitions has been to try to get used to the little signs that my new neighbors post in front of their houses: PROTECTED BY XXX SECURITY SYSTEM – ARMED RESPONSE. After ten months, I still flinch each time I see these signs. They weigh on my heart as constant reminders that we don’t quite trust each other, that we’re not quite ready to be in community.

On Secrets (July 2020)

The Wrong Kind of Silence We simply can’t always speak out. But there are critical times within Friends’ communities when failing to speak truth can cause great damage. Trying not to offend, trying to maintain a surface calm, can cause a disastrous loss of trust and can betray our commitment to answering the Light in everyone. Often it enables cruel behavior to continue. When problems remain unnamed, it can threaten our ability to address them. This kind of silence can undermine integrity, cause profound personal hurt, and splinter community. Much is lost when we fail to say what we think and when we fail to help each other speak up when serious interpersonal issues develop. Therefore I want to name self-silencing of truth as a significant threat to the ability of Friends to live our testimonies and a threat to the Religious Society of Friends.

On Deception (November 2013)

A Great Place to Work An Interview with Robert Levering

On Bosses (July 2018)

Quakers and Gun Violence In the United States, gun violence is not a mere veneer on the surface of an otherwise peaceful society, but something deep and dark, with roots in the colonization of the continent and the founding of the nation, in ethnic cleansing, enslavement and the seizure of land from Mexico. White settlers, armed to the teeth, faced the constant prospect of insurrection by Native peoples and enslaved populations, as well as violence on contested borders.

On Weapons (January 2019)