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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Joshua's column: Violent Quaker paranoids and me

  • Apparently my namesake didn't get the memo in 1767 that Quakers are pacifist....
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  • In 1767, a Quaker minister in Hillsboro, North Carolina led a band of violent Quakers called The Regulators in an attempted revolution against the British king.
    (They apparently didn’t get the memo that Quakers are pacifist.)
    For attempting this proto-American Revolution a few years before George Washington pulled it off, the Quaker minister and his followers got the snot beaten out of them by the British troops.
    That violent Quaker minister’s name: Joshua Dixon.
    No joke. I couldn’t make up something that stupid.
    Today, there’s a Joshua Dixon Elementary School in Columbiana, Ohio, named in honor of the violent Quaker minister revolutionary.
    (Yes, yes, I know. I should get t-shirts printed up that say, “Washington got a whole state named after him, and all I got was this lousy elementary school.”)
    It’s odd how history echos itself. When I was a teenager I lived in Hillsboro, Oregon, and my father was born in North Carolina. I’ve also been known to not get the memo about important things you’d think I’d know.
    Now I’ve heard the clinical definition of “paranoid” is a person who always needs to find connections between things.
    To a paranoid, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. Everything is deliberate. Everything is part of a pattern, and someone is responsible!
    Now, far be it from me to be paranoid. All I want to know is, who arranged it so the violent Quaker minister and I would have so many connections powerful enough to reach through time itself?
    Huh? I mean, you know?
    What is the meaning? Is it a message I should become a violent Quaker revolutionary, too? Should I go find some British people to beat me up? Eat a box of Quaker oats?
    Or is it some sort of hidden code I’m supposed to figure out? Was the earlier Joshua Dixon’s life a cosmic commentary on my life, arranged by God (or the CIA) to send a message to me now?
    What could that message be? Think, Josh, think!
    If I honestly were paranoid, and not just playing with ideas, you can bet I’d find a message. And it would be a pretty good one, too.
    Or, I could just say, “Hmmmf. Cool coincidence,” and get on with my life.
    . . . . .
    What’s the most powerful emotion? Love? Fear? Hate? Sadness? Joy?
    What’s the first one that came to mind when you read that? Not the one you second-guessed and thought you should answer, but the first one that really came to mind?
    Page 2 of 2 - Whatever answer you came up with explains a lot of your personality, of the choices you make.
    What emotions do you run away from? Which ones do you seek?
    If you want to understand yourself, that’s a good first place to start.
    . . . . .
    One thing I’ll never understand: the point of going though other peoples’ medicine cabinets.

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