Growing up, I was taught to live by and hold high the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Service. But I also always felt the influence of another important testimony – Environmental Caretaking. While this testimony may fall under several of the traditional Quaker testimonies listed above, it also holds a power strong enough to stand on its own.
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.
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.
I have read quite a few articles recently about “green” living, reducing footprints, and sustainability. None of them have mentioned one of the greatest ways of creating positive change in the world. Voluntary poverty is a far more fundamental and effective way to decrease consumption and impact, while increasing human connection and improving life all around.
Quakers introduced public banking to the original colony of Pennsylvania, helping the colony prosper. North Dakota created its public bank in 1919, and is currently the only state to own its own bank. There are public banking efforts in more than thirty states, many of them in the west (Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and my own State of New Mexico).
So yesterday, a lady comes to our produce table at the local Farmer’s Market, hefts one of our football-sized sweet potatoes, and asks, “How much?”
“Six dollars, ma’am,” I reply. “Three pounds at two dollars a pound.”
“It’s so expensive!!”