Dear Editor: I was not surprised to find that my article in the March/ April issue of Western Friend, “My Quest to Change the Education System,” was controversial to some Friends. Regarding Gary Miller’s letter to the editor, I would like to write my own response in my defense.
For Friends the most important consideration is not the right action in itself but a right inward state out of which right action will arise. Given the right inward state right action is inevitable. Inward state and outward action are component parts of a single whole.
Howard Brinton, 1943.
Friends’ testimonies are descriptions of actions and behaviors that have characteristically sprung from the very foundation of shared Quaker beliefs. They are neither proscriptive nor prescriptive, but descriptive of Friends’ lives.
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!!”
One of my sisters keeps horses. She has noticed that if she shows up to feed them later than usual, they seem especially happy to see her. The pathos of this scenario is all the more striking because, in general, we take such scenarios for granted. With carrots and sticks and clever deceptions, we humans purchase the loyalty of our fellow creatures on a daily basis, including each other.