As the new coalition government settles down, it is important to see past the hype and fear to the real issues of power, says Jill Segger. Asking tough questions of the powerful remains especially important in this new situation, with warning signs and signs of hope both in evidence.
In the face of a couple of glaring examples to the contrary, politicians may, through necessity, learn the outward usages of integrity, says Jill Segger. In all probability, that will still conceal a degree of hypocrisy, but even the imitation of virtue may eventually lead to the real thing.
A lifelong attachment to the Labour movement and its values of equity and justice makes questioning loyalty to the party formed in its name difficult, says Jill Segger. But it is possible to hold on to your principles and find political vision beyond tribalism.
Clarity about the nature and motivation of advertising is essential, says Jill Segger, if we are to live well and be free from the tyranny which would have us believe that conformity is to be identified with community.
To consider the possibility that whatever we cherish in our own environment, legends and customs, could have a parallel in the hearts of others, is to begin to mix the mortar that may bind us in solidarity, says Jill Segger. It is this solidarity which rests at the heart of a patriotism worthy of the name.
New Year is a chronological convenience and the Gregorian division of times and seasons is by no means universal, says Jill Segger. But that doesn't mean that it should be passed up as an opportunity for real change.
Simplicity is perhaps best understood as appropriate living, says Jill Segger. It is about owning and using only what is necessary and not being seduced by that which is dangled before us by advertisers and arbiters of style.
To follow in the way of Jesus should make rank and status irrelevant, says Jill Segger, in the second of a series on Quaker values. Our equal value and dignity before God can re-shape our relationships with each other.
It has been well said that peace is not the absence of noise, trouble or hard work – rather it is to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart, says Jill Segger in the first of a series on the Quaker Testimonies.
Mercy cannot be earned, says Jill Segger. It is not a quid pro quo. It is pure gift and whenever we exercise it, we come closer to the Divine nature. The Ali al-Megrahi case makes us uncomfortable about this - and necessarily so.
The values we are willing to tolerate and those we would like, need to be brought closer together, says Jill Segger. Forgiveness and grace need to be part of the picture if destruction is not to reign.
To fear one's doubts and to deny them, is to take away the silence from the music and the space from the sculpture, says Jill Segger. As with all untruth, denial demeans, diminishes and eventually destroys.
War and military service can be a male attractant, says Jill Segger. If we will work with the grain of male nature wherever conscience permits and be honest in respecting its virtues, we will hold a better chance of being heard when we are compelled to stand against it.