More than 180 people attended the Public Lecture at this year’s Ireland Yearly Meeting.
Addressing the topic, ‘Who is my Neighbour? What is our Testimony on Inclusion?’, Will Haire of South Belfast Quaker Meeting, called on us to consider how we can include those most in need in our society through a broader social contract, responsible participation in the economy, social service and by leading inclusive personal lives.
“We are challenged to create a counter-culture, challenging the mainstream and consumerism of our society and to argue in what we say, and in what we do, for a different way of life,” said Will.
“We have to argue for a fair tax system, fair pay for all, and for a fair welfare system,” he said, adding that taxes should be progressive, with the weight falling on those who can afford them.
“We have to argue for good, transparent governance of businesses, the economy, the state and indeed all institutions – ourselves included. That fits with our testimony to integrity, to our use of plan language.”
“We have to build better links with those who are experiencing poverty. We have to understand their views, their concerns. We have to include them in the process of our thinking, our action, to create a real dialogue.”
Will concluded: “We have to be the good neighbour, the neighbour to everyone who needs our help.”
You can read the full script of Will’s lecture here – IYM Public Lecture 2016.