January 18, 2006

I should have known I was Quaker

Over at Showers of Blessings, Paul L has a post that includes a list of statements that complete the phrase, You might be a Quaker if...

I appreciate the reality check from Paul as well as from the pastor of Freedom Friends Church who wrote that list: The list was created as an outreach tool for seekers and inquirers who wanted to learn more about who Quakers are and isn't intended for describing the deeper layers of Friends.

Being the Quaker that I am, I started wondering what would my own list say; what might I have to say about being Quaker. But when I started considering that question, this other line of thinking emerged instead.

So, here's my first list. I'm calling it, I should have known I was Quaker because...


I should have known I was Quaker because...


  • Being honest was more important to me than being liked.


  • Dressing in comfortable clothes was more important than being pretty.


  • When I was in first grade, my answer to "What do you want for Christmas?" (!) was that I wanted peace.


  • I was a horrible in debates because each side always said something I believed in.


  • Doing something that felt right was more important to me than doing something that had simply always been done.


  • Doing something that felt right was more important to me than doing what my mother told me.


  • Being happy and fulfilled was more important to me than having money and a career.


  • Taking time to find a worthy solution to a difficult situation was more important to me than giving a quick answer now and figuring out how to clean up the mess later.


  • I always believed I could be more than who I was at the time; I just didn't know how to get there on my own.


  • I always believed that others had more potential and magnificence in them than they themselves believed. I just didn't know how to help them get there.


  • It's not about doing the right thing, or doing the thing right. It's about doing the right thing right.


  • Blessings,
    Liz

    UPDATE: See this related post, 10 reasons why I'm Quaker

    Eighth Month 2010: Here's a post on why I'm still a Quaker.

    9 comments:

    Joe G. said...

    I sense a whole slew of "I should have known I was a Quaker when..."! :)

    Nancy A said...

    This would make a very good spiritual exercise for Friends meetings.

    Liz Opp said...

    Don't be shy, Friends. Please add to the list, if you wish. wink

    And yes, Nancy, I think it would be an interesting exercise--it sure was for me. No doubt there could be other "complete the phrase" statements that could be used as ice breakers of a sort, to get a Friendly group warmed up to one another...

    Blessings,
    Liz

    Robin M. said...

    A friend says she knew she was in the right place when she first came to a Friends Meeting because of all the sensible shoes.

    I should have known I was a Quaker when I chose conscientous objection as my topic for "a speech on a controversial topic" in a high school English class. However, it would have helped a lot if I had known any Quakers back then - I couldn't find anything on non-violence in the local library besides a single book on Gandhi. I had to make it all up on my own.

    Sarah said...

    Mm, I like that, and I too think it would be an interesting excercise. I hope a slew of these pop up around the blogs! It'd be fun to follow.

    Paul L said...

    Robin's comment re the sensible shoes is one I've heard from at least three Friends in different meetings (all women, by the way) who did not know each other and could not have collaborated on their observation. Now it's four. I wonder if there's some kind of universal unconscious thing at work here?

    Maybe it has something to do with walking cheerfully upon the Earth.

    More seriously, I wonder when the day will come that I should have known I was a Quaker when I realized that my African and Latin American brothers and sisters constituted the majority of Quakers in the world.

    Liz Opp said...

    Thanks, all, for adding to the list and for sharing a bit of your story here.

    Sarah, thanks for stopping by. How has the blog writing been going? I hope it's met that expressive need of yours.

    And Paul, point taken! smile

    Blessings,
    Liz

    Peggy Senger Parsons said...

    The most 'sensible' shoes I own are iguana skin cowboy boots with stacked cuban heels. I often preach in stilettos.

    anonymous julie said...

    We have a lot in common. :)

    My addition, though I'm not sure about the wording:

    Seeking to understand is more important than seeming learned.