Letters - 7 August 2020

From tolerance and kindness to equality and prominence

Tolerance and kindness

Martin Drummond’s response (10 July) to RV Bailey’s poem (18 June) has caused me concerns that linger. I offer an alternative interpretation.
Advices and queries 18 starts with: ‘How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured and strangers are welcomed?’

Meeting for Worship in a public graveyard open to passers-by is surely a glorious form of witness.

I did take the voice in the first stanza of the poem to be not that of RV Bailey but of the man with the dog, attributing tolerance and kindness to Quakers.

Lateness: the few Friends we have in Normandy live a long way from each other. We worry about latecomers; dogs too. They settle, or not, as we do, learning to bear with each other, waiting for the Light.

Being made to feel in any way unwelcome would very quickly finish us.

Kay Cotton

Lack of cues and language

I welcome Jackie’s Fowler’s comments on videoconferencing (24 July). I am of the opinion that Zoom Meetings, whether for worship or as a substitute for face-to-face meeting, lack visual cues and also body language for those individuals who are part of the group.

This hampers communication. It can also exclude people. I am dyslexic and, whilst I am aware of the theory of how to join a meeting, I get stressed and anxious that I shall miss the beginning. I cannot then enter letters correctly and sometimes if very stressed just freeze, unable to write or type. 

I am also of the view that technological communication, whilst useful as we must socially distance, may exclude visually-impaired people or those with hearing loss, dementia or not financially able to possess the up-to-date iPad and so on.

How can a person Zoom if a child is crying or a partner ill?
If we wish to reach out to a wider community surely we should not be seen as exclusively abled-bodied and computer literate?
Liz Spivey

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