Quaker Thought One

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) holds as a central tenant of belief that there is that of God in everybody. Is it thus incumbent on us to love everyone? I’m not sure. Some people do not make themselves too loveable. I don’t think it is our mandate to love everyone. I think it’s more of an attitude to have. I explain it this way.
            One of my father’s heroes (and therefore one of mine,) was comedian Will Rogers, who never met a man he didn’t like. Dad shared his curiosity about others. And my father’s advice to me, simple as it was, went like this: “When you meet someone for the first time, act as if this person is a friend, until he or she proves differently.”
            In its simplicity, this philosophy accepts the fact that people are different, that most of us start off wanting to be friendly, and it leaves the door open for happy surprises. In fact, that’s the attitude – leave your door open to others. It’s not about loving everyone; it’s about being prepared to love everyone. And that makes it easier to see that of God in everyone.
April 22, Earth Day 2012