truly to listen to the other persons present, rather than just waiting
for your turn to talk. Give equal attention to each
person present, whether adult or child.
that people are capable of change and growth. Do not become absorbed
with historical excuses or reasons for
present problems. Focus on what is happening now to
perpetuate the situation or to require a decision.
not take sides if it is a family problem. Each person contributes to
the problem, its continuation, and its solution.
Try to avoid all suggestion of blame. It destroys openness and
makes clearness difficult or impossible to reach.
not give advice; do not present solutions to others. Do not create
dependency by taking over responsibility. Remember
that your task is to serve as a channel for the Light to help the
seeker deal with the problem or make a decision; neither you
nor the committee deals directly with the problem or makes
you feel sufficiently at ease with the seeker and with the other members
of the committee to work with them? Can you
labor with them truly to provide an atmosphere in which
divine guidance can be sought?
it is a family decision, can you listen without prejudice or bias to
each member who is involved?
you devote sufficient time and energy to this committee, knowing that
it may take several meetings and many weeks or
months to clarify the problem and provide support while the
decision is made and carried out?
you keep the committee discussions confidential and avoid gossiping
or referring to them outside the committee
unless those requesting the help of the committee are
comfortable with a wider sharing of their problem?
it is important that all members of a committee on
clearness feel a responsibility to help the convener establish
and maintain a right spirit in all meetings of the committee.
convener has the primary responsibility. All members should cooperate
in surrounding each meeting with a waiting
silence, by beginning and ending with worship and asking for
moments of worship during a meeting. Members may frequently
recall that a meeting of a committee on clearness is
not an occasion for professional or amateur counseling but a
spiritual exercise, one in which Friends hope to be channels
through which one or more seeking individuals may receive
light on a problem and divine guidance for a decision which
they — with God alone — must make.