social action

A Friendly Gift for an Unhoused Person (abridged)

Dear Friends:

My niece, who has been homeless, recommended preparing an old yet serviceable purse with sample sizes of nine useful items. This could be a gift to someone living on the street. The purse should have a shoulder strap so that it can be carried in addition to a backpack and still leave a person’s arms and hands free.

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Tom Friendly: A Fantasy

On Monday night, I went to bed fretting about how very little we old people in retirement communities are able to do about all the problems of this world.

On Tuesday morning, before I fully woke (was I still dreaming?), I began to imagine a man called Tom Friendly, and I was comforted.

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Information on Public Education: Ask the Students

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.

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Quaker Culture: Right Action

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.

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The Price of Lettuce

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!!”

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On Money

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.

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