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Viewpoint - Margaret Jeremiah

I Quaker Churchhave noticed that even the birds in my garden learn from one another. The peanut and the fat-ball feeders are ideally designed for the tit family of birds but not for many other birds. Yet I have seen blackbirds and robins experiment with different methods of obtaining nourishment without expending more energy than they can obtain. The blackbird flies at the ball and knocks bits to the ground, where he retrieves them. After trying that method the robin adjusted himself to both the fat ball and the peanut feeder so that he can now feed from both, nearly as well as the tits do.
You may well ask what this observation has to do with human religion.
I am over 90 years old and have seen many changes in my lifetime. At one time most of us stayed in one place and only a few knew about other places and other ways of thinking, believing and behaving. Unlike many in previous generations I have learned to read and my children have lived in several other countries where conditions and beliefs and behaviour are quite different but the people are recognisably human.
People all have spiritual and animal in their makeup and religions have all developed to respond to and re-enforce the spiritual side. Partly due to the speed of change, the churches seem no longer to speak to modern people.
That is why, having inherited Methodism and being brought up as an Anglican I am now finding modern Quakerism muntitledore acceptable. I find that quietly communing with my spiritual side and trying to relate my life to that is more useful than thinking what I am told to believe.
I took an Open University course called Religion Today – Tradition, Modernity and Change, and while studying Quakerism at Woodbrooke College in Birmingham I came across a book by Hans Kung who is a professor of religion at Tübigen University in Germany. He says there will be no world peace until the religions can all agree. We all began in the same way so I suppose we should all agree about something. Like the blackbirds, robins and blue-tits, we have to look and learn from each other.
Margaret Jeremiah, a member of Great Yarmouth Quaker Meeting