From On this day to A friendly mention
On this day
Just a few months into the second world war, the Friend of 17 November 1939 featured reports of conscientious objection tribunals and news from the Friends Ambulance Unit.
However, something else was exercising ‘Watchman’, an anonymous regular column-writer: ‘A half-humorous reference recently in this column to our “innate Quaker modesty” has been taken in dead earnest by a correspondent, whose comment is “Rubbish!” He continues: “Let us have no false modesty nor delude ourselves into thinking that to-day we are ‘among the quiet in the land.’ The spate of our pronouncements, most of which lack the simple majesty of earlier Quaker language, and our naive delight in the occasional publicity obtained by us as individuals or as a group, make any claim to modesty absurd.”
‘Now there is undoubtedly sound wisdom here in warning us against outrunning our measure and against a childish delight in being noticed… but this does not do away with the fact that there is among Friends generally a restraint and moderation above the average, a dread of dogmatism, a tolerance of others’ opinions, in a word a “modesty” that refrains from boasting and shrinks from publicity. We may sometimes have rushed into print when we had nothing to say worth printing, but this does not necessarily mean that no pronouncements should be made. The important point is that our lives should back our pronouncements, and then we cannot have too many of them.’
A far-flung Friend
Our Quakerly pages put in an appearance next to one of the wonders of the world last month.
While on holiday in Egypt Imogen Sewell-Risley, the friendly voice you’ll hear when you call our subscriptions phone number, perused some pages while visiting the pyramids!
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