Friendly February

Day 18: Make an effort to have a friendly chat with a stranger

Someone I have not met before visited our Quaker meeting this morning. It is a practice at most meetings that someone is at the door greeting people as they arrive, and so I had an opportunity to say hello and shake hands with ‘Ella’ at the very start. As we all shared refreshments afterwards I […]

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Day 17: Call a friend to catch up and really listen to them

I spent a bit of time thinking about who to contact as for some reason I interpreted this as a friend I have not been in touch with for a while. In other words I thought it was similar to Action 4. However as a result of that action earlier in the month, I have […]

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Day 16: Respond positively to everyone you meet today

Today I have spent time with a number of people as on a Friday after our 30 minute Quaker Meeting for Worship we have a facilitated discussion. Today the subject was ‘prayer’ and was fascinating. There were about 20 of us and there were probably at least as many different views and experiences in the […]

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Day 15: Be kind especially when your first instinct is to be unkind

In reflecting on this action I thought about how helpful I have found both Buddhist meditation and also Quaker wisdom. I find ‘Quaker faith & practice’ a wonderful resource of sayings and writings gleaned by Friends over the past 350 years. There is lots that is helpful in relation being kind when perhaps it does […]

Day 14: Tell loved ones why they are so special to you

On Valentine’s Day we are encouraged to think of those we love. It has become very commercialised but still offers a symbolic opportunity to think especially of people we care about. In my teens I remember the thrill of receiving an anonymous card, and wondering who had sent it. I also sent cards and wondered […]

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Day 13: Smile at people you’re with and try to brighten their day

This has been a really nice exercise. Today I’ve visited a dear friend who is a ‘voluntary solitary’, spent time at a local hospital, and visited a number of shops and so there have been lots of opportunities to carry out this action. I enjoy smiling at folk and almost always a smile comes in […]

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Day 12: Try to involve others and invite them to join your conversations

Yesterday I was in a local pub enjoying live music with some friends. I was focusing on the performance when I noticed two friends who were in the midst of a conversation turn to someone sitting alone. They had been facing each other but then opened up to include this third person. I do not […]

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Day 11: Put away digital devices and really focus on who you’re with

It’s now 19.00 and so time to reflect on how well, or otherwise, I managed with this action. On a positive note this is the first time I’ve opened up my laptop, something I would often have done intermittently during the day. Something that has made it easier is that I have had a busy […]

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Day 10: Tell a loved one about their strengths you value most

The person I have chosen is Saira (not her real name). I love her as a daughter and as a dear dear friend. She is an extraordinary woman who has gone through many trials, tribulations, and tragedies, as well as joys, in a number of countries through which she has passed and in which she […]

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Day 9: Say friendly things to people who work in your local shop or café

Today I have only been to one shop and no cafés but have visited our health centre and also had a dental appointment. I was also part of a discussion at our Quaker Meeting House. Do these count, and what do we mean by ‘saying friendly things’?

Being pragmatic I interpreted this task as being everything […]

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