This is the third in a series of Reflections posts about Quaker testimonies.
The Quaker Peace testimony has its roots in the 1600s when representatives of the Religious Society of Friends stated that they “utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings.” Ever since, Quakers have collectively opposed wars in many different ways.
But Quakers also look at the Peace testimony on a personal level. They realize that it’s difficult for groups to find peace if the people that make up those groups can’t find peace for themselves.
Here are a few excerpts from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s general queries regarding the peace testimony as it applies to us as individuals:
– How do we help each other face conflicts with patience, forbearance and openness to healing?
– To what extent does our meeting ignore differences in order to avoid possible conflicts?
– Do I treat personal conflict as an opportunity for growth?
– How do I face my differences with others and reaffirm in action and attitude my love for those with whom I am in conflict?
It can seem daunting to try to achieve peace on an international level. But we can and should continue to work towards our own personal peace, and help others do the same.