Chapter 10 » 10.22

Conflict within the meeting

Part of the creative experience of a community is learning how to deal with conflict when it arises, and Friends are not usually good at this. ‘Speaking the truth in love’ is a Quaker cliché, but ‘papering over the cracks’ is the principle more commonly acted upon. Conflict met in ‘brokenness’ of spirit can take a meeting a long way on its spiritual journey, whereas unresolved it deadens the life. We are a small Society. Clashes have always arisen, just as they arise in any family group. In one sense the members of a family know each other too well, in another sense not well enough. It is impossible to impress one’s relations, but they can be a great stand-by in time of need, and it is then that they come to know each other better, if the bond is strong enough.

Joan Fitch, 1980

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