The Weekly Query #5

The Weekly Query is a series of tough questions that I’ve run into or thought up. There are no right answers, and while you can give your thoughts or responses in the comments below, the queries are largely intended to provoke hard thinking, not answers. This practice is borrowed from the Quaker tradition, as I explained here. Be forewarned that as these are on difficult subjects, you and others may encounter painful topics. Be aware of this for your own sake and the sake of others. The terms “you,” “we,” “yours,” and “our” may be used indiscriminately throughout. Interpret them as you choose.

 

What has been good news lately? What is hopeful?
What has made you laugh in the past 24 hours?

The Weekly Query #4

The Weekly Query is a series of tough questions that I’ve run into or thought up. There are no right answers, and while you can give your thoughts or responses in the comments below, the queries are largely intended to provoke hard thinking, not answers. This practice is borrowed from the Quaker tradition, as I explained here. Be forewarned that as these are on difficult subjects, you and others may encounter painful topics. Be aware of this for your own sake and the sake of others. The terms “you,” “we,” “yours,” and “our” may be used indiscriminately throughout. Interpret them as you choose.

How do you exercise your body?
How do you exercise your mind?
How do you exercise your heart or your soul?

The Weekly Query #3

The Weekly Query is a series of tough questions that I’ve run into or thought up. There are no right answers, and while you can give your thoughts or responses in the comments below, the queries are largely intended to provoke hard thinking, not answers. This practice is borrowed from the Quaker tradition, as I explained here. Be forewarned that as these are on difficult subjects, you and others may encounter painful topics. Be aware of this for your own sake and the sake of others. The terms “you,” “we,” “yours,” and “our” may be used indiscriminately throughout. Interpret them as you choose.

You are using a computer. How have you made that possible? Did you purchase a computer? Are you using a publicly available computer?
Either way, what costs did you have to pay to make it possible?
Are those costs payable by all?

 

(Check back in a day or two for the resumption of regular blogging!)

The Weekly Query #2

The Weekly Query is a series of tough questions that I’ve run into or thought up. There are no right answers, and while you can give your thoughts or responses in the comments below, the queries are largely intended to provoke hard thinking, not answers. This practice is borrowed from the Quaker tradition, as I explained here. Be forewarned that as these are on difficult subjects, you and others may encounter painful topics. Be aware of this for your own sake and the sake of others. The terms “you,” “we,” “yours,” and “our” may be used indiscriminately throughout. Interpret them as you choose.

(I’m resisting the urge to the “what are we thankful” question. I figure you’ve done enough of that lately. I will, however, ask something else somewhat relevant:)

Where did the food you’ve eaten today come from?
Where was it grown or raised?
What did it cost you monetarily?
What other costs might you have paid for eating it?
What benefits might you gain from eating it?

 


(Hold onto your hats, folks; some big stuff coming up!)

Introducing the Weekly Query

In my branch of the Quaker tradition, there are no set statements of belief, no precepts. In their place, Friends over the years have worked out queries. The queries are sharp, probing questions, not intended to be easily answered, and never intended to be answered in a rote fashion. They are intended to provoke thought. Nor are there any “right” answers, since the questions are often deeply personal–and the answers for any individual or group may change over time. They are often asked in groups, organized thematically. Answering them can be a spiritual discipline, and in theory the introspection leads to action.

Consider the following queries, out of many, on equality:

Do we avoid being drawn into violent reactions against those who are destructive of human dignity? Do we reach out to the violator as well as the violated with courage and love?

In short, the queries are tough.

I’m embarking on a new series for the Generous Grasp: the Weekly Query. While I may occasionally draw on classic Quaker queries, mostly they’ll be hard questions I’ve thought of or had to face myself. You can respond to the queries, but bear in mind that if you have an instant answer, you may wish to think again.

Moreover this series will always give you (and me) a reason to come to the blog on a regular basis, something which I feel I’ve lacked in my haphazard postings.

As the queries reflect long-running problems and processes in our lives, I may repost ones from time to time. The terms “you,” “we,” “yours,” and “our” may be used indiscriminately throughout. Interpret them as you choose.

Let us therefore begin.

Are we aware that we speak through inaction as well as action?

(Taken from the North Pacific Yearly Meeting Book of Faith and Practice)