"When I was clerk, our Meeting was
so homogeneous, so united, we didn‘t have many varying points of view
like we have today. And I used to enjoy writing up the minutes at home
before going to monthly meeting. I could pretty much write the minutes
because I could pretty well evaluate what the decision of Meeting was
going to be."
"The values were something that I've had in my life for as long
as I've been alive. The pacifism, nonviolence, the belief in that of God
in every person, which meant that you had respect and interest in people
of other races, of other nationalities, and a general concern about life
that you were living in your community."
"My father had been a noncombatant in the First World War. He’d
been a purser on an ammunition ship. And so I was confronted at age 17
with a decision: I did not study
during the summer, so I could enter Westtown in my senior year.
Therefore, either Westtown would not accept me and I would go elsewhere
to finish my high school, or I would join the military."
"To me, the core belief of Quakerism, as far as I can see and
having become a Quaker later in life, is that there’s a little piece
of God in all of us. It gives an equality to everyone and diminishes the
thought that people are better than they are. That to me is the
important thing. I didn’t know I felt that way until I was introduced
to Quakerism, but I think it always was part of my fabric, of the way I
felt. I didn’t have it in words so much as I felt it."
"I shared in meeting the other day a little prayer, a definition
of prayer, that is not Quaker but which helps me. This little definition
is that prayer is a quieting of your mind and an opening of yourself to
a larger awareness. And that’s exactly what I do when I go into Quaker
meeting. First of all, I just try to quiet my body -- that isn’t very
hard for me at my age, but it‘s very hard for young kids. But the
hardest thing is to quiet your racing mind, you know, your thinking and
intellectual pursuits, and quiet your spirit and just open yourself up
to a larger awareness—that’s the presence of God—and take it from
"The thing that I enjoy doing for the Meeting, and for myself as
well, is arranging flowers to have at meeting. I don’t do it just to
have flowers there, but when putting the flowers together I think about
meeting, and I think what I want to do when I go to meeting. I think
about a lot of things. When I go after the flowers that I’m going to
put in Meeting, I consider it my preparation for meeting. Then I have
joy in arranging flowers, and fortunately, I guess I have some ability
in that because I get many nice compliments about it."
"We were marching two by two through the village, and I remember
we were slowly co-joined by a lengthy line of Alabama state police cars,
with two policemen in each car. As we slowly made our way down to the
courthouse, they drove beside us all the way. I can remember looking in
one of the car windows at one point, and I’ve never been stared at so
hostilely in all my life as I was in exchanging glances with that state
trooper. It reminded me once again of how courageous and staunch people
have to be to persist in an effort like the civil rights struggle,
particularly the black people who at that time were the focus of this
whole effort. I was more of a bystander, as you can see, then I was an
actual participant, although I was part of that dramatic moment."
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