MUSINGS 2019 the 4th of July Week #2 Militia Women

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When we recognize that only three things are really in our power …what we believe, what we desire and what we move forward – we free ourselves radically from those attitudes of subservience and emotional bondage that hold too many people back from their proper development and inner personal success in the world. Tom Morris


Many of us were taught about the Militia Men in the American Revolutionary War. They were neighbors who were prepared to defend their local community against advancing British Troops.

We may not have learned that Colonial Women also embraced their Patriotic duty. Instead of buying British goods, they learned to weave wool into fabric to sew clothes for their families. They became farmers who bore children and learned to raise them without their husbands at home. After the Boston Tea Party, women learned how to make tea from local native plants. A group of women who became Militia Women in the town of Pepperell, Massachusetts, is the subject of this Blog.

It became known to resident Prudence Cummings Wright of Pepperell, Ma, following a conversation she had overheard, that British spies would be sending messengers from Canada to the British Troops in Boston. These messengers would be passing their community from Groton at the Jewett Bridge. After Prudence shared this information with the women of the village, they elected Prudence the Head of the Wright Guard. The women armed themselves with whatever muskets remained in the village, pitchforks and other farm items and laid in wait at the Bridge Passing on a night in April, 1775.   Mrs. David Wright’s Guard did indeed hear the two spy messengers coming down the path and the Guard was successful in taking them down. Their documents were confiscated and the men were sent to the Area’s Safety Committee. As a Memorial to the Women Militia of April, 1775, the following Granite Tablet has been placed near Jewett’s Bridge, located over the Nashua River, MA..

Near this spot a party of Patriotic Women, under the leadership of Mrs. David Wright of Pepperell, in April, 1775, captured Leonard Whiting, a Tory who was carrying treasonable dispatches to the enemy at Boston. He was taken prisoner to Groton and the dispatches were sent to the Committee of Safety at Cambridge.”

What is omitted from this Granite Tablet is that Leonard Whiting was accompanied by Samuel Cummings, the brother of Prudence Cummings Wright. He too was arrested and subsequently imprisoned. A year and a half later in the Fall of 1776, Samuel Cummings jumped his bail and left a wife and three children fatherless. The court case of Leonard Whiting found he was not a traitor. He was judged not to be a traitor because as a commissioned officer he followed the loyalty of his commission, albeit, an English Officer.

We learn about ourselves as we learn from others. This American story demonstrates how family’s make difficult choices when they stand up for their beliefs. During this 4th of July Week, Choose Who You Want to be Known As. Enjoy.       “Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive Coach

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Notes: 1) https://mentalfloss.com/article/67905/9-women-who-helped-win-american-revolution

2) https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/massachusetts/beautiful-covered-bridges-ma/ This bridge was constructed similarly as the Jewett Bridge near Pepperell, MA.

3) The above quotation is found on page 86 of, The Stoic Art of Living, Inner Resilience and Outer Results by Tom Morris (2014) Open Court Publishing Company a division of Carus Publishing Company.

What is it Right, Wrong or Gossip?

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Out of some little thing, too free a tongue /  Can make an outrageous wrangle  Euripides

We sometimes forget that mistakes people make – are nonsensical.  Here’s an example.  Last Saturday I brought down to the loading dock of the building where I live three bags of paper; a worker from the shredding company was waiting for the paper to load onto his truck.  The bags were inside a wheeled, carry-all cooler that I use to cart around groceries and other items for my convenience.   The worker took each bag out individually and when he looked down at the bottom of the carry all, he saw some items he decided were garbage.  Which they weren’t.  He didn’t say anything to me about these items, he did say something to someone else.

My apartment stored a vacuum cleaner which was broken and could not be repaired. I left the loading dock area and went back to my apartment to retrieve it.  Another tenant saw me wheeling the vacuum cleaner, that I placed in the carry-all cooler toward the building recycling area; he offered help; he explained the vacuum cleaner had to be placed in a dumpster, not the recycling area because it had a plastic exterior cover.  He wheeled the vacuum cleaner to the dumpster (which I didn’t know existed), lifted up the carry-all cooler that held the vacuum cleaner and hoisted it over the top of the dumpster is a few seconds.  As I quickly said, “What are you doing? the carry-all cooler wasn’t even 2 years old; it is not garbage.”  “Oh, yes it is, the man replied.  The man outside (the shredding company worker) said your carry-all cooler carried garbage!”  Huh!  Needless to say, my wheeled carry-all cooler was removed from the dumpster, wiped clean, and is available for my use again.  Gossip has a life of its own and spreads more quickly than the truth.

IMG-20160425-00816It’s important to remember, whatever is left for pickup anywhere outside, it is available for anyone to look through and use. Happily, no garbage was in my carry-all cooler and the misconception was corrected.   No matter what your career path may be, let’s hope the perceptions we hold about someone else are based on reliable facts.  As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week, enjoy a gossip-free day!

Mindfulness also is a platform that may be utilized when faced with the example I have shared with you:  Observe, Describe, Accept, Don’t take it Personally and be Non-Judgmental.  Again, enjoy your week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach