Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Modest Proposal

A number of folks have made reference to how much the events in Iraq these days remind one of the events in Vietnam when I was a youth. Well, I have been thinking, as I contemplate all those former Vietcong spending good money on Coke and Big Macs... Remember the South Vietnamese army? We just could not train them to fight. They were just plain incompetent, ... unmotivated! Same with the Iraqi army which we back ... just plain not good soldiers. We keep trying, and telling the American people, they will be able to fight on their own any day now... Now the VC, there was an army! They could tunnel, lie for hours camouflaged in the road ... if we had trained the VC to be our allies, well, everyone could have knocked off for Big Macs and a Coke years and years before we did! So, in that light, a modest proposal. Why don't we hire the other guys in Iraq to be the Iraqi army, pass out the Big Macs and Coke, and start building a safer world for Starbucks?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Yes Santa, there is a Bethany Rose

Well, ... it has been awhile... I've been rather ill. But, yesterday had the great pleasure to show the meetinghouse to a passing group of young Friends from Alexandria Indiana. Must try and put the house back together, as the band is coming over for a rehearsal ... and this...

Bethany's Cake

Yes Santa Claus, there is a Virginia

Or should I say, a Bethany Rose Gareis. On March 22, a birthday cake arrived at the Friends (Quaker) shelter which read, "Bethany's Birthday Wish for You." Bethany lives in North Carolina, and has just turned nine.

Her family, like many in America, struggles against sometimes overwhelming financial hardship. Her father was outsourced years ago, and has been working night and day, buying and selling surplus items to sell to keep his family of fourteen afloat. Several weeks ago, someone used a stolen credit card to purchase goods from him. That night he found a five dollar in his pocket, placed there by little Bethany, to help make up the loss.

So, it was hardly a surprise when her mother, Christi read her birthday wish. The children in the family post what they want for their birthday on the refrigerator. In these days of constant advertising to children -- you must have this or that toy... Bethany's birthday wish was simple, "All I want for my birthday is for peapil [sic] to be Happy. And I'll be Thankfull."

Christi is a blogger,(Mum2twelve see links) and people have been pledging to make Bethany's birthday wish happen, for strangers she may never meet.

The small simple wishes of children can have profound results when we take them seriously. We plant seeds. Perhaps it would be a wonderful spring growth of this little seed if we, go out and do simple, unexpected, random acts of kindness, and for Bethany the stories here, to send the lesson to our children that little wishes can come true.