"Be the change" lunch on Monday, Nov. 24
From: John Wallace (walla003TC.UMN.EDU)
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:40:07 -0600
November 21, 2003

To:    Folk School folks

From: John Wallace

Invitation to:  Folk School lunch at John Wallace's office, this coming 

Monday, November 24, 11:30 -- 1:00

You are welcome to bring your brown bag lunch.  Juice and cookies will 

be served.

     The purpose of these weekly lunch meetings is to dig into Gandhi's

saying, "You must be the change you seek in the world."  They are open, 

rolling conversations happening throughout this academic year, where 
people are free to come when they can, and come at any time between 
11:30 and 1:00.

     Last week we began by reading out a poem by William Stafford and a 

short text from John Woolman's Journal.  This seemed to work well 
(again).  We will start with another Stafford poem and an excperpt from 

Woolman's Journal this Monday.

     I am pasting in below the pieces we used last Monday.

     My office is 868 Heller Hall, on the U of MN West Bank campus.  
Close to Wilson Library and the Humphrey Institute.

Vocation

This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.

I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,
and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.
But then my mother called us back to the car:
she was afraid; she always blamed the place,
the time, anything my father planned.

Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world's whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
"Your job is find what the world is trying to be."

William Stafford


The Journal of John Woolman

John Woolman lived from 1720 to 1772.  Like many Quakers, Woolman kept 

a spiritual journal, that he began writing in 1756.  The writing looks 

backward, beginning with his birth, and continues until the end of his 

life.  The entry below, from Chapter Four of the Journal, describes 
events that happened around 1757.

Woolman Chapter 4

Soon after I entered this province [Maryland] a deep and painful 
exercise came upon me, which I often had some feeling of, since my mind 

was drawn toward these parts, and with which I had acquainted my 
brother before we agreed to join as companions. As the people in this 
and the Southern Provinces live much on the labor of slaves, many of 
whom are used hardly, my concern was that I might attend with 
singleness of heart to the voice of the true Shepherd and be so 
supported as to remain unmoved at the faces of men.

As it is common for Friends on such a visit to have entertainment free 

of cost, a difficulty arose in my mind with respect to saving my money 

by kindness received from what appeared to me to be the gain of 
oppression. Receiving a gift, considered as a gift, brings the receiver 

under obligations to the benefactor, and has a natural tendency to draw 

the obliged into a party with the giver. To prevent difficulties of 
this kind, and to preserve the minds of judges from any bias, was that 

Divine prohibition: "Thou shalt not receive any gift; for a gift 
bindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous." (Exod. 
xxiii. 8.) As the disciples were sent forth without any provision for 
their journey, and our Lord said the workman is worthy of his meat, 
their labor in the gospel was considered as a reward for their 
entertainment, and therefore not received as a gift; yet, in regard to 

my present journey, I could not see my way clear in that respect. The 
difference appeared thus: the entertainment the disciples met with was 

from them whose hearts God had opened to receive them, from a love to 
them and the truth they published; but we, considered as members of the 

same religious society, look upon it as a piece of civility to receive 

each other in such visits; and such reception, at times, is partly in 
regard to reputation, and not from an inward unity of heart and spirit. 

Conduct is more convincing than language, and where people, by their 
actions, manifest that the slave-trade is not so disagreeable to their 

principles but that it may be encouraged, there is not a sound uniting 

with some Friends who visit them.

The prospect of so weighty a work, and of being so distinguished from 
many whom I esteemed before myself, brought me very low, and such were 

the conflicts of my soul that I had a near sympathy with the Prophet, 
in the time of his weakness, when he said: "If thou deal thus with me, 

kill me, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thy sight." (Num. xi. 
15.) But I soon saw that this proceeded from the want of a full 
resignation to the Divine will. Many were the afflictions which 
attended me, and in great abasement, with many tears, my cries were to 

the Almighty for his gracious and fatherly assistance, and after a time 

of deep trial I was favored to understand the state mentioned by the 
Psalmist more clearly than ever I had done before; to wit: "My soul is 

even as a weaned child." (Psalm cxxxi. 2.) Being thus helped to sink 
down into resignation, I felt a deliverance from that tempest in which 

I had been sorely exercised, and in calmness of mind went forward, 
trusting that the Lord Jesus Christ, as I faithfully attended to him, 
would be a counselor to me in all difficulties, and that by His 
strength I should be enabled even to leave money with the members of 
society where I had entertainment, when I found that omitting it would 

obstruct that work to which I believed He had called me. As I copy this 

after my return, I may here add, that oftentimes I did so under a sense 

of duty. The way in which I did it was thus: when I expected soon to 
leave a Friend's house where I had entertainment, if I believed that I 

should not keep clear from the gain of oppression without leaving 
money, I spoke to one of the heads of the family privately, and desired 

them to accept of those pieces of silver, and give them to such of 
their negroes as they believed would make the best use of them; and at 

other times I gave them to the negroes myself, as the way looked 
clearest to me. Before I came out, I had provided a large number of 
small pieces for this purpose and thus offering them to some who 
appeared to be wealthy people was a trial both to me and them. But the 

fear of the Lord so covered me at times that my way was made easier 
than I expected; and few, if any, manifested any resentment at the 
offer, and most of them, after some conversation, accepted of them.

November 21, 2003

To:    Folk School folks

From: John Wallace

Invitation to:  Folk School lunch at John Wallace's office, this coming 

Monday, November 24, 11:30 -- 1:00

        Note the shift in place from the meetings we had for several Mondays 
at Trinity Lutheran Congregation.  You are welcome to bring your brown 

bag lunch.  Juice and cookies will be served.

     The purpose of these weekly lunch meetings is to dig into Gandhi's

saying, "You must be the change you seek in the world."  They are open, 

rolling conversations happening throughout this academic year, where 
people are free to come when they can, and come at any time between 
11:30 and 1:00.

     Last week we began by reading out a poem by William Stafford and a 

short text from John Woolman's Journal.  This seemed to work well 
(again).  We will start with another Stafford poem and an excperpt from 

Woolman's Journal this Monday.

     I am pasting in below the pieces we used last Monday.

     My office is 868 Heller Hall, on the U of MN West Bank campus.  
Close to Wilson Library and the Humphrey Institute.

Vocation

This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.

I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,
and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.
But then my mother called us back to the car:
she was afraid; she always blamed the place,
the time, anything my father planned.

Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world's whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
"Your job is find what the world is trying to be."

William Stafford


The Journal of John Woolman

John Woolman lived from 1720 to 1772.  Like many Quakers, Woolman kept 

a spiritual journal, that he began writing in 1756.  The writing looks 

backward, beginning with his birth, and continues until the end of his 

life.  The entry below, from Chapter Four of the Journal, describes 
events that happened around 1757.

Woolman Chapter 4

Soon after I entered this province [Maryland] a deep and painful 
exercise came upon me, which I often had some feeling of, since my mind 

was drawn toward these parts, and with which I had acquainted my 
brother before we agreed to join as companions. As the people in this 
and the Southern Provinces live much on the labor of slaves, many of 
whom are used hardly, my concern was that I might attend with 
singleness of heart to the voice of the true Shepherd and be so 
supported as to remain unmoved at the faces of men.

As it is common for Friends on such a visit to have entertainment free 

of cost, a difficulty arose in my mind with respect to saving my money 

by kindness received from what appeared to me to be the gain of 
oppression. Receiving a gift, considered as a gift, brings the receiver 

under obligations to the benefactor, and has a natural tendency to draw 

the obliged into a party with the giver. To prevent difficulties of 
this kind, and to preserve the minds of judges from any bias, was that 

Divine prohibition: "Thou shalt not receive any gift; for a gift 
bindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous." (Exod. 
xxiii. 8.) As the disciples were sent forth without any provision for 
their journey, and our Lord said the workman is worthy of his meat, 
their labor in the gospel was considered as a reward for their 
entertainment, and therefore not received as a gift; yet, in regard to 

my present journey, I could not see my way clear in that respect. The 
difference appeared thus: the entertainment the disciples met with was 

from them whose hearts God had opened to receive them, from a love to 
them and the truth they published; but we, considered as members of the 

same religious society, look upon it as a piece of civility to receive 

each other in such visits; and such reception, at times, is partly in 
regard to reputation, and not from an inward unity of heart and spirit. 

Conduct is more convincing than language, and where people, by their 
actions, manifest that the slave-trade is not so disagreeable to their 

principles but that it may be encouraged, there is not a sound uniting 

with some Friends who visit them.

The prospect of so weighty a work, and of being so distinguished from 
many whom I esteemed before myself, brought me very low, and such were 

the conflicts of my soul that I had a near sympathy with the Prophet, 
in the time of his weakness, when he said: "If thou deal thus with me, 

kill me, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thy sight." (Num. xi. 
15.) But I soon saw that this proceeded from the want of a full 
resignation to the Divine will. Many were the afflictions which 
attended me, and in great abasement, with many tears, my cries were to 

the Almighty for his gracious and fatherly assistance, and after a time 

of deep trial I was favored to understand the state mentioned by the 
Psalmist more clearly than ever I had done before; to wit: "My soul is 

even as a weaned child." (Psalm cxxxi. 2.) Being thus helped to sink 
down into resignation, I felt a deliverance from that tempest in which 

I had been sorely exercised, and in calmness of mind went forward, 
trusting that the Lord Jesus Christ, as I faithfully attended to him, 
would be a counselor to me in all difficulties, and that by His 
strength I should be enabled even to leave money with the members of 
society where I had entertainment, when I found that omitting it would 

obstruct that work to which I believed He had called me. As I copy this 

after my return, I may here add, that oftentimes I did so under a sense 

of duty. The way in which I did it was thus: when I expected soon to 
leave a Friend's house where I had entertainment, if I believed that I 

should not keep clear from the gain of oppression without leaving 
money, I spoke to one of the heads of the family privately, and desired 

them to accept of those pieces of silver, and give them to such of 
their negroes as they believed would make the best use of them; and at 

other times I gave them to the negroes myself, as the way looked 
clearest to me. Before I came out, I had provided a large number of 
small pieces for this purpose and thus offering them to some who 
appeared to be wealthy people was a trial both to me and them. But the 

fear of the Lord so covered me at times that my way was made easier 
than I expected; and few, if any, manifested any resentment at the 
offer, and most of them, after some conversation, accepted of them.

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