Some journeys are direct, and some are circuitous; some are heroic, and some are fearful and muddled. But every journey, honestly undertaken, stands a chance of taking us toward the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need

— Parker J. Palmer

The most famous Parker J. Palmer quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks--we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.

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Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.

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Community is a place where the connections felt in our hearts make themselves known in the bonds between people, and where the tuggings and pullings of those bonds keep opening our hearts.

138

The human soul doesn't want to be fixed, it simply wants to be seen and heard.

The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient and shy. When we go crashing through the woods shouting for it to come out so we can help it, the soul will stay in hiding. But if we are willing to sit quietly and wait for a while, the soul may show itself.

108

I now know myself to be a person of weakness and strength, liability and giftedness, darkness and light. I now know that to be whole means to reject none of it but to embrace all of it.

102

Self-care is never a selfish act - it is only good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.

82

We are exploring together. We are cultivating a garden together, backs to the sun. The question is a hoe in our hands and we are digging beneath the hard and crusty surface to the rich humus of our lives.

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We think it's about little techniques and tricks, but techniques only take you so far. We need teachers who care about kids, who care about what they teach, and who can communicate with kids.

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Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness - mine, yours, ours - need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life

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I want to learn how to hold the paradoxical poles of my identity together, to embrace the profoundly opposite truths that my sense of self is deeply dependent on others dancing with me and that I still have a sense of self when no one wants to dance.

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A scholar is committed to building on knowledge that others have gathered, correcting it, confirming it, enlarging it.

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The ancient human question 'Who am I?' leads inevitably to the equally important question 'Whose am I?' - for there is no self outside of relationship.

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About Parker J. Palmer

Quotes 109 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday 1939

Everybody is on a lifelong journey toward trying to live more deeply.

There is nobody who can say, "Well, I've got that one checked off my to-do list." We have to be honest with ourselves about where we are on this journey and about the difficulty of living in our own identities and integrity.

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Opposing what's wrong is a halfway measure at best.

A rebel must also have a vision for something better, a strategy for moving toward that vision and a capacity to rally and join with others in achieving it. If the anger that drives rebellion is not transformed into the hope that inspires movement communities, it will do more harm than good.

13

In every story I have heard, good teachers share one trait: a strong sense of personal identity infuses their work.

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Storytelling has always been at the heart of being human because it serves some of our most basic needs: passing along our traditions, confessing failings, healing wounds, engendering hope, strengthening our sense of community.

12

We need a coat with two pockets. In one pocket there is dust, and in the other pocket there is gold. We need a coat with two pockets to remind us who we are.

8

For me, teaching is about weaving a web of connectedness between myself, my students, the subject I'm teaching, and the larger world.

7

Don't let anyone or anything rob you of the beauty and meaning at the heart of life. It's your birthright gift.

7

When there is a gap between what's on the outside and what's on the inside, that's when people retreat into their foxholes because it is an unsafe situation. You don't know what you are dealing with. What you see is not what you are going to get. And that is when people start withdrawing.

6

As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together.

6

Technology is incredibly creative and has great potentials;

but it is also very seductive in the way it isolates people, in the way it jazzes people up, in the way it makes junkies out of us - junkies who need a constant stimulation, more information, more bells and whistles, more electronic wonders in order not to be bored.

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Connection and connectedness are other words for community and communion.

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The highest form of love is the love that allows for intimacy without the annihilation of difference.

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Good teachers join self and subject and students in the fabric of life.

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Every good teacher and every good parent has somehow learned to negotiate the paradox of freedom and discipline. We want our children and our students to become people who think and live freely, yet at the same time we know that helping them become free requires us to restrict their freedom in certain situations.

5

Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique;

good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.

5

The academic bias against subjectivity not only forces our students to write poorly ("It is believed...," instead of, "I believe..."), it deforms their thinking about themselves and their world. In a single stroke, we delude our students into believing that bad prose turns opinions into facts and we alienate them from their own inner lives.

5

By choosing integrity, I become more whole, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means becoming more real by acknowledging the whole of who I am.

5

Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already posses.

3

There is a tradition that the church represents, without which we wouldn't have the church, that's all about diving deep beneath the surface of the culture and finding those timeless, eternal truths that the whole Christian enterprise is rooted in. And one of those is that you don't come to God at 180 miles an hour.

3

My high school, like most high schools, had a pretty rigid stratification system. Kids were clustered into groups - the studious ones, the athletes, the popular ones - and we never crossed paths with each other. You stayed in your air-tight group, and you were suspicious of people in other groups.

2

Spirituality is not primarily about values and ethics, not about exhortations to do right or live well. The spiritual traditions are primarily about reality...an effort to penetrate the illusions of the external world and to name its underlying truth.

2

When you are with young people, it is almost inconceivable that things wouldn't arise that you'd have to respond to, such as someone wrestling on the bus. And how you handle that, how you respond to that, how you deal with that is a lesson to the people you are on the bus with.

2

Here, I think, is another clue to finding true self and vocation: we must withdraw the negative projections we make on people and situations - projections that serve mainly to mask our fears about ourselves- and acknowledge and embrace our own liabilities and limits.

2

I now understand what Nelle Morton meant when she said that one of the great tasks in our time is to "hear people to speech." Behind their fearful silence, our students want to find their voices, speak their voices, have their voices heard. A good teacher is one who can listen to those voices even before they are spoken-so that someday they can speak with truth and confidence.

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We listen for guidance everywhere except from within.

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The people who help us grow toward true self offer unconditional love, neither judging us to be deficient nor trying to force us to change but accepting us exactly as we are. And yet this unconditional love does not lead us to rest on our laurels. Instead, it surrounds us with a charged force field that makes us want to grow from the inside out - a force field that is safe enough to take the risks and endure the failures that growth requires.

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Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.

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Integrity requires that I discern what is integral to my selfhood, what fits and what does not-and that I choose life-giving ways of relating to the forces that converge within me: Do I welcome them or fear them, embrace them or reject them, move with them or against them? By choosing integrity, I become more whole, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means becoming more real by acknowledging the whole of who I am.

0

If we want to grow as teachers -- we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives -- risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.

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The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out into them.

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I think the church needs to be much more countercultural than that and invite people into slowing down, into a "Be-still-and-know-that-I-am-God" mindset.

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My favorite topping is one that a lot of people don't like. I love anchovies.

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Although there are some enormously gifted lecturers and preachers who do create community with oratory, I like to do anything I can to engage my students with each other, with me, and with the subject. And the subject, I think, always has to take prominence.

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I'm 67 years old now. I've had a lot of good teachers over the years; and they have been very, very different from one another. They all had passion for what they were doing, but their styles were unique to them as individuals.

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Death in various forms is sometimes comforting, while resurrection and new life can be demanding and threatening. If I lived as if resurrection were real, and allowed myself to die for the sake of a new life, what might I be called upon to do?

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Mentors and apprentices are partners in an ancient human dance, and one of teaching's great rewards is the daily chance it gives us to get back on the dance floor. It is the dance of the spiraling generations, in which the old empower the young with their experience and the young empower the old with new life, reweaving the fabric of the human community as they touch and turn.

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Leadership is a concept we often resist.

It seems immodest, even self-aggrandizing, to think of ourselves as leaders. But if it is true that we are part of a community, then leadership is everyone's vocation, and it can be an evasion to insist that it is not. When we live in the close-knit ecosystem called community, everyone follows and everyone leads.

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