Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quaker Wisdom for Today

I ask for daily bread, but not for wealth, lest I forget the poor.
I ask for strength, but not for power, lest I despise the meek.
I ask for wisdom, but not for learning, lest I scorn the simple.
I ask for a clean name, but not for fame, lest I contemn the lowly.
I ask for peace of mind, but not for idle hours, lest I fail to hearken to the call of duty.

--Inazo Nitobe, 1909


Sue Elliott said...

Wonderful and thought provoking. Thank you for posting this.

Colleen said...

I love this quote. Thanks.

Robin M. said...

It made me google Inazo Nitobe - he has his own Wikipedia page!

Where did you find this?

wordspring said...

My first experience of Inazo Nitobe was the Nitobe Memorial Gardens at UBC when I was a schoolgirl - long before I found Quakers. I was amazed when I found out just a couple of years ago that this Japanese diplomat who has gardens and statues in his honour here in British Columbia was also a convinced Quaker.

Brent Bill said...

I first found this quote in the old (blue book) Christian Faith & Practice (London YM) that was a text for a Quakerism class back in my college days. I've always loved it.

Martin Kelley said...

At the risk of comment spam, here's an article about Nitobe that we published last August: The Life of Japanese Quaker Inazo Nitobe by Sam Snipes. If you scroll to the bottom of it, you'll find a link to a personal remembrance of Nitobe from a 1958 issue of Friends Journal, found by one of our interns as we were putting that issue together. He seems like a fascinating Friend indeed.

Brent Bill said...

Thanks, Martin!