Letters - 29 March 2024

From The language of daffodils to Whither Quakers?

The language of daffodils

This time of year I am reminded of the phrase that one should never minister about daffodils.

I wonder who came up with that? Answers on a postcard please.

I feel there is nothing wrong with speaking about daffodils.

Why? Because most of us, after the short dark days, enjoy the signs of spring. The fact that nature will always come back to life and carry on regardless, even against the odds. ‘Life will out’, that gives us hope.

Nothing wrong with hope, often the first careful sign of healing to rise from the ashes of loss, anxiety or when things did not turn out the way you prayed for.

Nature can give us comfort oftentimes before people can. It does not judge, speaks without words, teaches about diversity, rhyme and reason, and how everything is interdependent.

So much to hear ‘in the silence’ of a bird chorus to lift our spirit, that Light inside of us when we smell the grass or the rain, when we see the yellow joy of daffodils. It is all telling us so much if we take a bit of time to stop and receive. It gives us new energy to face the world and our role in it. Makes one feel grateful to be part of this amazing creation.

Surely, that is worth ministering about in simple words? Simplicity was one of our very first testimonies. I believe it was not just about clothing, possessions or status. It was also about the whole of our lives including the use of language everyone in the room could understand. The language of daffodils? I think so!

Jacinta White

‘Conscientious taxation’?

Some years ago I discovered that there was a different view of economics than the one I (and nearly everyone else) grew up with. And that includes recognising that ‘tax pays for nothing’.

In the article ‘In the line of duty: Robin Brookes campaigns for conscientious taxation’ (1 March), we read that ‘we all pay for war through our taxes’. Sorry, ‘we’ don’t. It’s the government. It issues the sovereign currency – those pounds sterling – to do many things including purchasing all the equipment to fight wars, buying ammunition, updating nuclear submarines, paying the members of the armed forces…

I have learned that tax serves a number of purposes, however. It is a necessary mechanism for the control of inflation and, without taxation, there could be no money issued at all! The mysteries of these unfamiliar statements are explained in modern monetary theory, and by the UK group the Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies.

Of course, there is a great deal that I, and many other peace-loving Quakers, will agree with in Robin’s article, especially that ‘it is more urgent than ever for the human race to abolish war’. But for me, citizens withholding taxes stand no chance of doing that.

John Morris

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