Letters to Share, Jan-Feb 2016
"What canst thou say" about spirit-led efforts on behalf of Earth, about your own stirrings toward care for the planet, in relation to the vision and thoughtful action of Quaker Earthcare Witness as a whole? We’d like to hear from you. Send your letters to Katherine at
email@example.com, and share your thoughts and leadings with Friends and caring others throughout North America.
Dear Friend: A Letter about Climate Change
I am so glad we were able to be together at our Half Yearly Meeting of Southeastern Yearly Meeting. We come back year after year because we know this to be the least scheduled, most leisurely, best-fed, and most spontaneously joyful meeting of our year. It is also the most serendipitous, like the lovely conversation we had when it was only the two of us working on the jigsaw puzzle.
Thank you for being so honest with me. I am glad that I got to hear about the work you have done to care for our Earth. Please know I completely understand your fatigue, grief, and hopelessness about any real change coming in time to be meaningful. I understand your saying that you cannot find the energy for this work any more, and that it is just too painful.
I know very well the pain you feel, and I also want to tell you how I keep on with the work. I am of German ancestry, with great-grandparents who emigrated to this country. Since I have been old enough to understand the Holocaust, I have been horrified to think that I might have been one of those who did nothing to help the Jews. I believe that climate change is the Holocaust of today, and I have to do better. I have to do my part.
I also sustain the work by asking myself this question; "Who do I want to be? Literally, who am I?" I know very well that we may not succeed in turning back this steady march toward climate catastrophe. We who profess to love our children may hand them a lethal world for their future. I know all of that, and there are nights when it keeps me awake. Nevertheless, I want to be one who steps forward. I want to hear my own leadings and speak out in my own voice. I want to join with the growing numbers of others who work for this long effort.
I have surrendered a need to know the future. I have given up knowing the outcome. I do this work because today I can create myself to be one who acts on what I care about. I only know this day, and what matters to me, and that is enough.
I do it to be who I want to be. Thanks for our talk.
I love you,
Mary Jo Klingel
November 30, 2015
"I want to be one who steps forward. I want to hear my own leadings and speak out in my own voice. I want to join with the growing numbers of others who work for this long effort." -Mary Jo Klingel, in Letters to Share, Jan-Feb 2016