In your Quaker meeting, you may have experienced events similar to these: a Friend doesn’t want to be on a committee with another Friend due to a past conflict; two Friends complain about a third party, whom they find to be impossible (yes, it does happen); a Friend speaks up in business meeting about a conflict that is going on, and no one responds or takes any follow-up action.
Dear Editor: I am part of the Council of Elders, a volunteer organization in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, committed to promoting civil discourse. We started this organization after hearing about Better Angels (www.better-angels.org), a nation-wide organization that sprang up after the politically polarized 2016 elections.
Dear Friends: Conflict in our meetings is often not resolved in a manner satisfactory to all involved. Frequently, some individuals or groups are left on their own to swallow changes they are not ready for. This happens even though much willingness to being open to a way forward has been experienced within the meeting.