Many thoughts circled my brain as I read Parker Palmer in full. Most often I agree with his ideas about life; more specifically the inner life. Countless times already I have asked myself the same questions Palmer claims to have fretted over for many years: What am I meant to do? Who am I meant to be? Palmer describes a life within that one must listen carefully to in order for it to awaken and give answers to these questions. Palmer also brought up the point that since birth we are taught to do what the majority say is right, often failing to listen to our own wants. On this matter I agree that through socialization we may get stuck in a phase of living the best we can in front of others to impress or show off. In my life this pattern has reared its ugly head often. Throughout high school I skipped out on many opportunities for fun because of a fear of being judged and a fear of failure to interact with others. Palmer describes both of these as fears that can cripple what should be an active life. Palmer mentions twice how he had an experience where he was paralyzed by fear. I believe fear like everything else must eventually come to an end and with this knowledge we can all push it away, because in the end fear stems from preemptively fearing fear itself.
Parker Palmer believes we have natural limits and potentials. He uses the metaphor of doors shutting being limits and open doors being our potentials. I disagree with his way of thinking however, he says if u see a door close then turn around and check out all the open doors. For me this is too quick of an acceptance of failure, I believe limits can be destroyed through focus and practice. Though I admit there are doors that will forever remain molded shut like my likelihood of becoming a professional basketball player, however, Parker writes as if he sees a shut door and so just walks away without even trying to break it open. He says you cannot fix your limits or at least do not waste time doing it, I say use your gifts and strong will to make your limits bow to you. Palmer claims to be stuck within his own ‘nature,’ submitting himself to what he can and cannot do.How can we know our true nature until we have tried everything? I believe just like nature itself is constantly changing so to are our individual natures constantly changing.
Finding a vocation is finding something you enjoy doing and helps others. Palmer in youth seemed indecisive and perhaps a little lonely; concentrating purely on vocation and perhaps not enough on a loving relationship (He never mentions his love life which I think is very important also to understanding who you are). In the end a vocation has to be service to others. Every job is service to others whether entertainment, construction or inspiring through art. “Once you want success as much as you want to breath then you will be successful.” (“How bad do you want it” (success story))