"the light that you shine can be seen" Such a Quaker concept. I'm feeling quite quakerish today it would seem. It's funny, decades of living life as member of the Society as Friends and I simultaneously grow away from it as I grow towards it. Elements even now are being discarded while others are simply a part of who I am. It's good to know I'm not yet a fully formed Me, even in my 40s.
I still see a revised version of that of god in everyone. I see that of good in everyone instead. It's annoying and hard to break, but I cannot, cannot write anyone off. I can't see anyone as a "waste of time", it still feels to me that all that's needed is to understand someone properly, to keep trying, and an outcome of a simple encounter can be so much more rewarding. I find people rewarding on the whole. I cannot give up on folk. I have gently put to one side associations which I realised are not really friendships, but I know deep down that I'd still be there for the person, and if they knocked on my door tomorrow I would still know how they took their tea / coffee. And I'd still smile with genuine welcome and pleasure at seeing them. But I won't make the first move because somehow as things are, that seems to cause damage.
I still hold people up to the light. Or indeed hold them in my thoughts, gently. If I know a friend is in trouble I put them to the front of my mind, in the stream of things which flow across my conscious I let their problems enter the stream. Sometimes flashes of inspiration happen and I find something practical I can do, other times it's enough just to remember them, and not treat as a time limited incident something which they are living through.
Plain speech - well, I try. Sometimes it comes across as brutal sometimes it's just too hard to find the words, sometimes I replace it with silence. But I try.
Simplicity - I feel I've lost this. I've lost the back to basics approach. I live surrounded by stuff, lots of it unnecessary, lots of it acquired in the quest for enjoyment. Not at all the Quaker way. I do find joy in watching blue tits in the garden, busy raising their young. I do find joy in just sitting in the garden, and in thinning the tiny apples on the tree. I find joy in simple cooking, basic ingredients, cooked without gadgets above and beyond the cooker and pans, knives, spoons. But I have a house scattered with bicycle parts, tent accessories, awnings, books, kindle, netbook, phone, charger. I have a lot of stuff and only minimal inclination to do something about it.
Conscience - my conscience is my guide. Call it God if you will. I like to believe I don't do anything to go against my conscience, my morals, my principles. I think that's a route to unhappiness as the decisions taken will jar with you and make you ultimately miserable. Actions which seemingly head against principles are thoughtfully made, considered, consequences taken into account. Doubt and questioning is comfortable. Because principles are personal only I can know what I truly deeply believe and where the boundaries lie, and no, there's no need to write these down in stone either, things change, I change. It's just part of me.
This pretty much sums me up ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/quakerism
Funnily enough, I set out to write about trail centres, repeating sections and riding with fit folk ... but I went where the spirit moved me.