As we experience the promise of a new year, the Story of Kennett, authored by Joan Holliday and Bob George provides another opportunity to reflect on the living philosophy that has made Kennett Square a great place to live and raise a family.
We all have in common—living on the same inherited land. This is the smallest whole that is not divisible when working as a community. Peaceful, progressive-inclusivity is the leading philosophy of our town of Kennett Square. In the time we have spent intentionally working to bring about a revitalization of our community, we have learned that we need a living philosophy that all community members can put into practice with discipline. It is the higher order influence of a living philosophy that directs our choices and helps us become a vital evolving community.
How does one know what philosophy to take on? Through reflective dialogue sessions, we have learned the power of matching the energy of our work with the energy of the land. Each land has its unique energy and character. We know that the American Indian was particularly committed to honoring the land and then matching where each tribe settled to fit the nature of the tribe.
The Lenape Indians settled in this area because they were a peaceful Indian, who experienced the rolling hills, lush flora and diverse fauna, which resonated with their nature of spirit. Historically our town has been a peaceful place including and embracing a diversity of cultures. (from the Quakers to the Underground Railroad.) Our ancestors have been obedient to this power. We have come to understand that we need to become co-creators with our land’s energy, taking it on as our living philosophy, just as the Lenape Indian and the Quakers.
Kennett Square has been nourished, fed and inspired by the Quaker Friends, who created a platform for peace, caring and inclusivity in the early 1800s. One can walk down East Linden Street and see the plaques on the homes that identify Quakers and run-away slaves, who lived side-by-side, essentially living out a higher order of humanity together. They saw the dignity in each human being, regardless of the dangers involved in feeding, clothing, protecting and aiding a run-away slave.
The Quaker process has instructed and influenced what Kennett is today; the Quaker’s way of being is behind the care and attention that is being given to each child through the variety of youth programs and the way the town faces and processes adversity and divisiveness.
Today, the dominant culture in this country looks at a problem and tries to solve it by generating causes to keep us energized. The infrastructures and costs involved then use up the resources of the community and through time often reduce any spirit that was present.
The people of Kennett start from the heart, stay on the potential-side, encourage and support grass-roots leaders and volunteers, and build community spirit from this foundation. It has been proven time and time again, that this way of living sustains us through hard times and brings inspiration at creative times.
We, the people of the Kennett community are committed to honoring our land inheritance and leaving a personal and group legacy of advancing humanness and nourishing life for the next generation. It naturally follows that this underlies the secret of our community’s ongoing progress in moving towards wholeness and oneness.