Look for the light

I’m told by some with first-hand experience that Quakers – like any other gathering of human persons – are sometimes given to argument and bad feeling. Nonetheless, wisdom often arises from their foundational willingness to start from the first principle of silence unless and until something of significance arises as potential shared offering.

Too much talk beats some souls, mine included, to death. Occasional sightings of BBC Parliament invariably raise a smile as I observe battle weary “honourable members” and “noble lords” struggling to stay awake on the benches. There are times when I find reading newspapers or watching tv news just too exhausting – and depressing – especially when, as seems to be the case the world-over just now, the “news” involves someone bashing someone else.

So Robert Lawrence Smith’s Quaker Book of Wisdom has been a tonic for an hour or so today. Amongst “some of the life lessons that I wish someone had shared with me when I was growing up” he offers (page 167)

9. Look for the light of God in every person

It’s easy to see people’s dark side – their petty greeds and prejudices, their selfishness and fear. The challenge that defines our humanity is seeing the divine in other people. In the only sense that really matters, we are all equal; there is that of God in every person. A Quaker of an earlier age asked: “Now that thou knowest, what wilt thou do?” The answer comes as quietly and naturally as the sun’s daily rising: Follow the light within; improve yourself and the world, “as way opens.”

Robert Lawrence Smith
A Quaker Book of Wisdom

Indeed, many important answers arise “quietly and naturally” when we’re not being bombarded with “exclusive scoop” hot air. I’m incorrigibly in favour of the cool pathways of quietness as I live and look daily – for the light.

4 thoughts on “Look for the light

  1. I too feel we are assaulted with noise, overwhelmed by talking heads with little to say that isn’t reiterative; perhaps at times, we too seek out ‘white noise’ to avoid hearing the words of our hearts. I don’t know – I do know how I allow quiet to envelop me at times, and how comforting and soothing it is to follow the light (when one allows herself/himself the gift of doing so).xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So easy to be overwhelmed by the ‘shrieking hoards’ who seek to solve every problem in a 30-second soundbite which, as Mimi so rightly points out, is then repeated ad nauseum to fill the space. Would that we could all take a step back and take a moment to think, and perhaps more importantly to listen…to what others are *really* saying and to what our hearts dictate. Such tough times we’re living in…it’s easy to lose sight of that light. Thanks for remaining a beacon, sweet friend… xox

    Liked by 1 person

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