|"Be the change" lunch on December 1||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: John Wallace (walla003TC.UMN.EDU)|
|Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 08:20:21 -0600|
November 26, 2003 To: Folk School folks From: John Wallace Invitation to: Folk School lunch at John Wallace's office, this coming Monday, December 1, 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 excerpt 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. Ask Me Some time when the river is ice ask me mistakes I have made. Ask me whether what I have done is my life. Others have come in their slow way into my thought, and some have tried to help or to hurt: ask me what difference their strongest love or hate has made. I will listen to what you say. You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait. We know the current is there, hidden; and there are comings and goings from miles away that hold the stillness exactly before us. What the river says, that is what I say. 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 concerns how he made his living; it is from Chapter Three of the Journal and describes events that happened in 1756. Until this year, 1756, I continued to retail goods, besides following my trade as a tailor; about which time I grew uneasy on account of my business growing too cumbersome. I had begun with selling trimmings for garments, and from thence proceeded to sell cloths and linens; and at length, having got a considerable shop of goods, my trade increased every year, and the way to large business appeared open, but I felt a stop in my mind. Through the mercies of the Almighty, I had, in a good degree, learned to be content with a plain way of living. I had but a small family; and, on serious consideration, believed truth did not require me to engage much in cumbering affairs. It had been my general practice to buy and sell things really useful. Things that served chiefly to please the vain mind in people, I was not easy to trade in; seldom did it; and whenever I did I found it weaken me as a Christian. The increase of business became my burden; for though my natural inclination was toward merchandise, yet I believed truth required me to live more free from outward cumbers; and there was now a strife in my mind between the two. In this exercise my prayers were put up to the Lord, who graciously heard me, and gave me a heart resigned to his holy will. Then I lessened my outward business, and, as I had opportunity, told my customers of my intentions, that they might consider what shop to turn to; and in a while I wholly laid down merchandise, and followed my trade as a tailor by myself, having no apprentice. I also had a nursery of apple-trees, in which I employed some of my time in hoeing, grafting, trimming, and inoculating. In merchandise it is the custom where I lived to sell chiefly on credit, and poor people often get in debt; when payment is expected, not having wherewith to pay, their creditors often sue for it at law. Having frequently observed occurrences of this kind, I found it good for me to advise poor people to take such goods as were most useful, and not costly. (later in the same chapter he picks up the theme again) Though trading in things useful is an honest employ, yet through the great number of superfluities which are bought and sold, and through the corruption of the times, they who apply to merchandise for a living have great need to be well experienced in that precept which the Prophet Jeremiah laid down for his scribe: "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not."
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