Thursday, October 30, 2008
The Road: Quaker Peace Testimony to Conscientious Objector
This past First Day, I had the joy of "leading" a group of 7 Quaker high school teens in the first part of a journey to understand the Quaker Peaace Testimony and move towards building a file in support of conscientious objector status. It was a lively group (brownies and cupcakes always help). We read the early phrasing of the Peace Testimony from the 1600's. We talked about it a bit. One teen said that it bothered him that Quakers are often quite good at talking the talk, but not WALKING the talk when it comes to the Peace Testimony. Others talked about the fighting that goes on in their high schools. The fights are almost "entertainment" for some. One teen shared how her principal declared a "Patriotism Week" which included "patriotic" music piped over the PA system and other events. Her dad went in and talked with the prinicipal about his objections to this "Week". The teens were very moved by this action of someone walking the talk. I asked about what a "Peace Week" might look like. Several ideas were tossed around. At the end, a couple of the teens voiced interest in getting to the part of this "journey" where we start building the file. We will get there, but building a foundation is key. As always, I come away from my experience as "leader" feeling led into some new wisdom that the teens offer. It's a blessing.