Most young adults hold little doubt that we were born into and continue to exist in a world where systems of domination – racism, classism, sexism, etc. – create hierarchies of worth and power that segregate our communities. These systems ground our experiences in fear and suspicion of others, and often, fear and suspicion of ourselves.
[Friends are not sufficiently] sensitized to environmental issues, and the result has been that we are now only slightly more awake to their significance than the average American . . . [As] individuals, many of us have become involved with environmental organizations, or have spoken out on special concerns within the environmental arena.
Surely life is more than waiting at the center of a wheel of fortune that spins and stops repeatedly to point out countless causes and concerns. Finish one task and then hang on as the wheel spins and points out the next one. Will it be immigration, prison reform, nuclear disarmament, climate change, indigenous rights, racism and white privilege, or . . . ?
Somehow, my idea of a kid picking up a small plastic grocery bag of neighborhood litter proceeded to a $10,000 anonymous donation and a fulfilling volunteer occupation. Incidentally, I didn’t work this hard at any of my paid positions throughout my “real” working life.
Excerpts from the keynote presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 14, 2016; Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington
by Diane Randall
Good morning Friends. Thank you for welcoming me here this week as a Friend in Residence.
Even though Quakers possess skills in conflict resolution (as well as conflict avoidance), a perplexing conflict seems intractably lodged in our Quaker community: a split between Quakers who are drawn primarily to the spiritual side of our practice – emphasizing silence, contemplation, and stillness over all else – and Quakers are who are committed to social action – including demonstrations, l