Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Your Own Inner Light

Quaker Meeting House by midgefrazel
Quaker Meeting House, a photo by Hulda Jowett, 2011, used with permission

Guided By Your Own Inner Light
Theme for 2014

As an undergraduate at Rhode Island College, I took a philosophy course titled, "Comparative Religions". The professor was a popular one and he was very good at teaching tolerance and understanding. This was in the late 1960s where ideas of peace and love clashed with rebellion. My fellow classmates were of varying ages, backgrounds and religions as many were returning servicemen of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and took advantage of the GI bill and went to college. Many young students were the first ones in their families to go to college.
The professor emphasized the idea of the "creator" and the guiding theme of light throughout time. Even in underdeveloped countries these two ideas are present. I learned a lot in this course about philosophy, geography and history.
As a practicing Protestant in a predominately Catholic state, I was usually in the minority. I did have friends who were non Christians. In Rhode Island, tolerance is a key idea, even to this day and I'd bet founding father Roger Williams would be surprised that his ideals are still in place. Many early governors of Rhode Island were Quakers. The first synagogue is in Newport, RI. 

This plaque indicates that many "Friends" from Smithfield, RI moved to Adams, MA in 1782. (Illustrated History of the Smithfield Meeting of Friends) I am working on finding out more about this family.

As my blog has evolved, it has become more that just gravestone research. Guided by my "inner light", I will continue to blend my gravestone photography into family history. I hope you will continue on this adventure with me in 2014.

Happy New Year!

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