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Why do I feel so defensive? (Religious thing)
Old 06-08-2019, 06:07 AM
  #1

When I was a kid, I earned admittance as a scholarship student to a prestigious private school in our area that is associated with the Quaker faith. The school only admits 7 percent of applicants so to get in and to be offered money to help offset costs was a shock to all involved.
We were never religious growing up and often the weekly Meeting for Worship struck me as boring as anything. But something must have stuck with me because I began attending meeting again during grad school and took my DD to a meeting when she was 3 through middle school (at which point we moved far enough away that driving there became pretty inconvenient).
Over the last year, a friend from the meeting has been increasing critical of the school saying, among other things, "it isn't Quakery enough." It puzzled me and I have found myself increasingly defensive of the school. The school isn't perfect at all. It's expensive to attend and doesn't include enough economic diversity within it.....I was probably the poorest student there and we were middle class. FWIW, it's location in a downtown metropolitan center made the education difficult to get to if you lived in the suburbs so location alone prohibited greater access.
Most of the time that I've heard critiques of the school, they're from families who are frustrated that their children weren't admitted to the school but to my knowledge his sons did not even apply.
I ended up shrugging my shoulders and commenting that I didn't really understand his repeated critiques and that, speaking from personal experience, I felt that the Quaker ethos, values and spiritual beliefs permeated the school as evidence by weekly religious services, a commitment to volunteering within the school community and outside of it long before volunteering was expected of high school students.
I could neither figure out why he cared so much nor why I did. Any insights?


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Old 06-08-2019, 07:29 AM
  #2

Hmmmm. I'm not Quaker (have attended Quaker meetings occasionally) but some members of my extended family are and some have taught in Quaker schools and attended Quaker colleges. I am a strong member of a Protestant denomination. Just giving this so you know where I'm coming from.

It sounds as if you valued your education at the Quaker school and are a supporter of Quaker education, although you also see the problems of a de facto non-inclusive school. Are you wanting the school to remain as it is or would you prefer it to be less exclusive? Changes would likely require significant additional scholarship money.

Your friend also values a Quaker education, but would like it to be "more" Quaker. Would he want to limit the student population to Quaker families or is he thinking that attending a Quaker school would instill Quaker values and beliefs into the students?

Have you asked him what he would like to change in the school? What would you like to change? And what would you each want to keep the same?

One of the Quaker values, in my experience, is listening to various ideas with an open mind, trying to hear and understand what the other person is saying--which is not the same as accepting their thoughts as truth. It may be, but not always.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:32 AM
  #3

Some people like to complain.



Some people like to argue.


Some people like to get other riled up.


Some people are rude.


Some people are clueless.



Those are my top five guesses!


Once I was talking to a man I did not know well who went on and on and on about how stupid it was to put your kids in French Immersion...after I said my kids were in French Immersion. I could understand stumbling into insulting me accidentally by not knowing...but nope, not him. I guess he wanted to ensure that I knew he felt we had made a stupid educational decision for our children as I must have struck him as someone who really values the opinions of others when it comes to "none of their business"
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:34 AM
  #4

He is bored

You are bored

You defend your alma mater

You are a teacher, instinct to correct
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:03 AM
  #5

Some people have nothing more productive to do, so they fill their time by complaing about things that have nothing to do with them.


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Old 06-08-2019, 07:28 PM
  #6

Just my guess, but you probably feel defensive because he is bashing the school you went to - The school you had a scholarship to, and felt privileged to attend. Heís probably bashing it because he couldnít go there, his kids donít go there, and he may know someone who wanted to, but couldnít.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:14 AM
  #7

I like your defending statement: "speaking from personal experience."

I think that statement alone shuts down his negative comments! Well done!
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:40 AM
  #8

You are hurt because he is attacking a place you love. You can hold your memories close and not have to defend them.
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