Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Meeting is a Rock

There is a deep peace inside my Meeting House, in the hearts of my Friends. We here are not an old Meeting, not like the 15th Meeting in NYC, where I went to school with the Quakers for 14 years. That schoo, Friends Seminary, had been a school before George Washington was president. Its walls were imbued with the spirit and the silence of the Elders. There we were treated according to the Quaker priniciple that "there is that of God in everyone" so that teachers addressed students with the respect that is due another divine being.

I had no idea how radical the education had been until I went to college - first to Middlebury, in Vermont, bastion of the privileged white class, where I nearly suffocated in two years, had it not been for a few Jewish friends and artists whom I met. Then on to CUNY where the diversity of the students more suited my mindset. But in both those colleges, I met bright, powerful students who had been trained already into submission to some "party line" or other. Few had open inquiring minds.

For the brilliant training that I recieved, I will always be grateful to the Quakers. They rescued me from a dim and drearly life, from isolation and affluence, into the powerful world of service and spirit.

I am extremely pleased to learn that the George School is now the most heavily endowed school in the nation. I hope this will encourage more Quaker Meetings to start schools.

You all just saved my life!!

1 comment:

Eileen Flanagan said...

Quaker education was a major blessing in my life, too. In addition to openning my mind in many ways academically, it gave me a place to go spiritually when I decided to leave the Catholic church in college. Today I am happy to see my children thriving in a diverse and loving Quaker school.

Glad to hear about your experience!