Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quaker Process? NOT!

My Quaker Meeting seems to be in a tearing hurry. Decisions being made rapidly. Decisions being made by one or two people. Decisions involving the education and care of our children. I don't know where the decisions come from. Especially the ones about our children. It all feels so rushed.

I will always be learning to be a Quaker. I joke about being taught the secret handshake and getting the secret decoder ring upon becoming a member. But along with the many joys, comes some hard, time-intensive work. There's joy in that, too. In our hurry up, hi-speed world, it's nice to slow down. I admit, it's hard for me. Feels sometimes like we are moving too slow. I'm not perfect at slowing down. I'll never be perfect, of course, but am working towards Quaker process. It takes time. This allows everyone to be heard. Ideally, this leads to a decision that the group can be comfortable with the outcome. When I first came to Quakerism, I too, was in a tearing hurry. I've slowed down a bit, but it takes the touch of the Spirit to slow me down to listen to my friends, listen to my heart. I pray that our Meeting slows down. That it takes it's foot off the accelerator. Because it's scaring me. And if we REALLY care about our children, we won't be like the rest of the world, and teach them to rush.


Suzy said...

When the uninitiated (those people who DON'T know the secret handshake) ask me about Quakerism, I will frequently mention simplicity and the peace testimony. What I often forget, and what I believe really sets us apart, is that elusive Quaker process. How do you describe it? How do you know when you have it (although we sure can tell when we don't)? I know I am often guilty of moving too fast, myself. Or dragging my feet endlessly and then rushing to play catch up on deadlines (the opposite of "hurry up and wait".) Thoughtful post. How can we bring this to the attention of our Meeting?

poodledoc said...

Well, it's coming to the Meeting's attention as we speak. Things are moving so fast, that some of us have begun to say "slow down". That "Quaker process" is elusive, as you say, but it's not happening in regards to our Meeting's children. Aren't we supposed to move slowly to listen for the voice of the Spirit? What does God/Spirit/Divine want us to do with the children? More curriculum? Less curriculum? No curriculum? Quaker babysitting? Retreats? No retreats? Too many retreats? It goes on, and on.....but the discussions that need to happen are beginning to happen. More attention needds to be paid to process. And how DO we explain it to newcomers?

I could tell you stories that would curl your hair! But would you be able to make a bun once you become a librarian?

Suzy said...

I'd look more like Katherine Hepburn.