Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quaker Wisdom for Today

"There can be no friendship where there is no freedom. Friendship loves a free air, and will not be penned up in straight and narrow inclosures. It will speak freely, and act so too; and take nothing ill, where no ill is meant; nay, where it is, it will easily forgive and forget too, upon small acknowledgements."

-- William Penn

1 comment:

Thomas R. Markham said...

William Penn's quote puts me in mind of 2 quotes by my 2 favorite "Libertarian-Socialist" (aka - Anarchists) Mikhail Bakunin (an atheist) & Leo Tolstoy (a Christian)... "I myself am human and free only to the extent that I acknowledge the humanity and liberty of all my fellows... I am properly free when all the men and women about me are equally free. Far from being a limitation or a denial of my liberty, the liberty of another is its necessary condition and confirmation." - Mikhail Bakunin... "Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God... And all people live, not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people." - Leo Tolstoy
So the law of God and nature (..."by the light of nature, then, although they have no law,they are their own law; they show what the law requires is inscribed on their hearts, and to this their conscience gives supporting witness" - Romans 2:14,15) is Love and what Penn talks of as friendship and freedom is Love in action through us. When I choose to judge others or fail to forgive a slight or offense, whether real or imagined, or place a selfish expectation on another, I have gone against this Law of Love and am no Friend in that frame of attitude.
Thank-you Bill for supplying this stimulus for my reflection and further enlightenment. - Thomas