My Five New Year’s Revolutions

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 6:29am
Photo by Karl Grenet

My Five New Year’s Revolutions

When I realized that this column would be published the day before we celebrate New Year’s Eve, I decided to write about the resolutions we traditionally make at that time. So I booted up my computer and gave the piece a working title: “My New Year’s Revolutions.”

As I stared at the monitor, already bored with my topic, I saw the typo. I reached to correct it, then stopped. “No,” I thought, “that’s what I want to write about!” — suddenly grateful for the random creativity of the fingers on my left hand. “I want write about my resolve to commit to a few of the revolutions we need if we’re going to regain our humanity in 2016.”

The past year brought a floodtide of human suffering. I’m talking about such horrors as the plight of millions of refugees, the spate of mass killings in public places, the persistence of racism and the violence it fosters, the growing number of people living in or on the edge of poverty, the failures of our justice system, the downward spiral of a democracy en route to becoming an oligarchy, the ongoing degradation of Earth itself. That’s why I want to write about five revolutions that need to be part of my New Year.

Revolutions that succeed are always for something rather than merely against this or that. But if we’re serious about what we’re for, we need to name what we’re willing to stand openly against. It’s not enough to say “Yes!” to things like love, truth, and justice without saying a loud, clear “No!” to their ruthless enemies, risking reprisals as we do.

Pete Seeger had these words inscribed on his banjo:

“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”

What Pete did with his music, we need to do by word and deed in our families, among our neighbors and friends, in our workplaces, religious communities, and the public square.

So here’s my list of five necessary New Year’s revolutions, named in terms of what they reject as well as what they aspire to achieve. I don’t need to launch any of them — they are all underway. I need only to invest my resources of self and substance more deeply than I have to date:

  1. The revolution against our fear of “otherness,” and against those who manipulate this fear for their self-serving ends. I want to stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been made even more difficult by the ignorance, cruelty, and shamelessness of the Donald Trumps of this world and their minions. When I hear people speaking against Muslims or Mexicans, to take but two examples, I need to say, “Your words are personally offensive to me. I am one with the people you’re insulting, and I can’t remain silent while you put my sisters and brothers down.” I may not change anyone’s mind, but I need to witness to my membership in the human community whenever I get the chance.
  2. The revolution against the state of denial in which most white Americans live, as when we refuse to acknowledge the power of white privilege and white supremacy in our lives. This revolution begins at home, in my own heart. I’ve never known a white person who was pulled over for “driving while white,” or tracked through a store for “shopping while white.” But I’ve known many who believe that the very idea of white privilege insults the way they’ve “worked hard and played by the rules,” and I can feel the same evasiveness in myself. If white people want to join the fight to bring racism down, we need to begin by coming clean about the benefits that accrue to us as long as racism reigns.
  3. The revolution against the nonstop attacks on our K-12 teachers and public schools. Most of the problems we blame on public education begin upstream; e.g., in the poverty that has nearly one-fourth of our kids coming to school too hungry for their brains to work well. So why do we blame teachers for children’s failure to learn — then double down on their burden by pretending to “solve” the problem with punitive, high-stakes testing? The only winners right now are those who want to force failure on public education in order to make privatization a more attractive option. I want to join with those who say, “Enough! This demonic scheme is crushing teachers and kids alike, and we will all pay dearly in the end. Let’s stop evading the real issues. Let’s deal with the upstream problems so teachers can help kids learn.”
  4. The revolution against gun-related policies driven by the delusional mentality of policy-makers and power brokers. There’s a link between mental illness and gun violence, but I’m not talking about the shooters right now. I’m talking about the people who have power over gun policy in this country. It’s urgent that we find some way to cure or at least contain the delusional minds that keep repeating “more guns” and “Second Amendment” as the way to end the terrifying torrent of headlines about yet another shooting. The murderous results of this madness were on display almost every day in 2015. I’m quite certain that this is not what the framers of the Bill of Rights had in mind. The “more guns” insanity poses a grave threat to public health, and if we can't cure it we must contain it by legal and cultural means.
  5. The revolution against the fantasy that a few of us can live secure private lives while ignoring our complicity in conditions that put many others at mortal risk. I’ve been contemplating the lessons to be learned from the well-known mental experiment of shrinking the world to a village of 100 people. In that village, demographers tell us, five people would control nearly one-third of the world’s wealth, and all five would be U.S. citizens. Of the 100 residents, 68 would live on less than $2.00 a day, and 50 would be malnourished. If that village were built on a hill, I would live up top in splendid isolation with the other four U.S. citizens. How long would it be, I wonder, before the folks at the bottom of the hill would rush our gated community not out of greed but simply to keep themselves and their children alive? Even if they didn’t, how well would I sleep at night?

In the face of all these problems — and what I believe to be five much-needed New Year’s revolutions — does it still make sense for us to wish each other a Happy New Year? Yes, it does, and we can do it with fuller and truer hearts than if we played the game called “Let’s Pretend These Problems Don’t Exist.” The realities around us are hard. But in personal and public life, walking into reality and grappling with it is always more life-giving than retreating into illusion.

The New York Times editorial board, not normally a source of inspirational prose, found 2015 so daunting that it published a Christmas editorial titled “Moments of Grace in a Grim World.” It ended with these words:

"Evil is everywhere, and anger and hatred are loud. The shouting drowns out the quiet; tragedy and disaster block the view of the good. Yet there are always signs of progress toward a better future. Look, or you may miss them."

I think we can do more than look. We can help create some of those signs of hope. So Happy New Year! As the clock strikes midnight on December 31, let’s redouble our resolve that we, our suffering brothers and sisters, and our New Year’s revolutions will find new life in 2016.

Share Post

Shortened URL


Parker J. Palmer

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Wednesday.

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

Share Your Reflection



Thank you Parker Palmer, for a year of words that challenge, comfort, inspire and call us to action. We need them all. Happy New Year!

Thank you Parker for calling us simultaneously to inward reflection and outward action. Yes, most successful revolutions are at their hearts "for" something, but they most also be willing to name the dragons we face clearly, intelligently and courageously. We gather agency and power by speaking the truth and fortifying our personal intention to daily solutions. We stand on the side of hope when when respond to a continual stream of information that is using tragedy as commodity with a reaffirmed resolve to not give into despair, but rather to live our lives as expressions of our most deeply held values, and in service to an ongoing revolution for positive change.

Thank you Carrie for being part of this evolution. I couldn't have written what you said even though it's exactly how I feel

Thank you Carrie. Your voice like Mr. Palmer's is an instrument of peace and hope even in the midst of despair. The hatred that is being spewed these days by some powerful people is so loud and so painful to those of us who want to live meaningful and good lives by partaking in the richness of our shared humanity. When you so beautifully express solidarity with all those who are vulnerable, you renew the sense of hope and joy that inspires right action. Your kindness is infectious, and your talent is such a gift. Stay blessed!

At first I didn't notice who had written this comment. But I wanted to save it, so started to do so. And then I saw your name, and said, "of course this speaks to me." Just this morning I sent your poem "Blessing" to a friend on his birthday. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
And I love Parker Palmer's typo and all that follows. Our unconscious leads us, and rather than try to discard the results, we need to listen to that inner voice.
Thanks to both of you.

this says it all -- this truly reflects my reflections -- thanks for the renewal of my Soul --

Thankful for your words that inspire me. I pray to remember and to act upon your words and make mine align with them. Happy New Year!

Thanks so much for this! I will be sharing these revolutions with our congregation Sunday, with credit to you, as my friend and I are speaking on resistance...revolution is resisting the easy way, the way it's always been, and resisting the feeling we can do nothing. These are the points I was planning to make, but your typo connects everything beautifully. I love serendipity!

Parker - you have always been a profound speaker, writer and person. You have given me a platform for me to start from in 2016. From the point of view of guns in our country to standing with our brothers and sisters an to stand up to the people who have so much ignorance that the only way to attempt to break through that ignorance!
I look forward to 2016! To work in my own little way towards peace! Thank you again Parker.

Thank you, Parker, again!

Exactly! Bravo, Bro!!!

I love the thought of inclusiveness and oneness. The Five Revolutions reflect a person who's kind, thoughtful and compassionate. A quiet voice in a raging storm of separation. I saw a sign from a Muslim group that made me smile. It said, "Muslims love Jesus." What was important is one forgets Muslims think of Jesus similarly to Jewish people: Jesus was a prophet. Also, I was reminded as far as I know all religions are peaceful if they focus on love, compassion and inclusion. Rabid "Christians" are as bad as rabid "Muslims." thanks for making me think.

Thank you... Wonderful addition to an inspiring blog.

Lujira - thanks for the reminder of what the three major religious traditions have at their core - love, compassion and inclusion. And, thanks, also, for calling a spade a spade when it comes to acts of terrorism committed by people from faiths other than Islam. I often note that the media and our public officials do not seem to refer to acts of terrorism committed by "rabid Christians" (or any belief system gone awry) as "terrorism".

And, to Parker - always so grateful for your words. I often read you here at OnBeing in the morning to make sure my heart is open and energized for the day ahead.

Your words spoke a great truth to me as a reflection for going into the new year. They brought upon thoughts of the words of Willa Cather and Rumi. They remind me to be mindful in not only those personal interactions but in the daily interactions with those about me. I truly believe that only from the heart can you touch another and foster change, thereby bringing about change or the revolution that you speak of. Thank you for these words of wisdom

I love the idea of revolutionizing as opposed to making resolutions in the New Year. As I age, it becomes harder and harder to be resolute about much of anything. However, I also wondered if it might be helpful to consider the other meaning of revolution: to turn or to come full circle. Perhaps it is in the turning or “re-turning” to our own truths, we might change the course not only for ourselves but for others as well. Then, the revolutionary changes Parker Palmer so eloquently lays out might just come to pass. Surely that would bring us closer to having it “on earth as it is in heaven!”

Well said! Thank you for your expression re. revolution as a turning around, turning back! VERY GOOD! Thanks!

What a absolute truth and very inspiring writing. By reading this I have been motivated to continue my path to becoming a social worker. I agree with every aspect mentioned and on New Years this will be the hope in my heart that our nation can come together and look at these issues. Thank you!

You're preaching to the choir here, but it's wonderful to see it written so eloquently. I'm truly sad that so many don't seem to share these sentiments. But the rest of us have our work cut out for us. Peace.

Wonderful words for the New Year! The New York Times words reminded me of someone's Facebook post I saw recently. It said: "when I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" The world has not looked this dark in quite some time, but it's always darkest just before dawn.

Such a great thought. You might be interested to know that the quote came from another wise person, the children's TV host, Mr. Rogers. The quote attributed to him is "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" ― Fred Rogers

Being light in darkness, being hope in despair often is as simple as a smile, a thank you, a pat of the hand, the sharing of a book or story or cup of coffee.....sometimes it is all one can do.....or needs to.

Thank you P.P. for yet another shedding of light on the revolutions we desperately need. As one of the top polluters of the planet might me not want to rate high on our list the need to redouble our attack on global warming? Without success in that revolution the others are meaningless.

Another grew piece by a Carleton guy. Good on ya mate. I especially liked your analysis of our attack on k 12 education.

To me, I wish for the child/adolescent from all around the world would finally have the right to play and B happy in addition to their education. Wherever they R on Earth. Do you know how many kids there are on Earth? Education is a gift. Not a replacement for play. Play is a necessity. Once basic need of food, shelter & loving home & family R met, I bet many simply want to play & have a chance at a happy full life. The life they are living today. Free from having to sit all day. Play helps them forget the heavy cares of their world. Just let them have the chance 2 get up from those darned chairs they sit in all day & play in a safe environment. Just for a while. Come on. Some empathy for the child's feelings.

Excellent - Happy New Year - we can do better!

As a principal in one of the high poverty schools referenced, I appreciate what is posted here. We need more of this thinking shared online. I've invited our local politicians to visit our school and see with their own eyes how their policies affect our students and families. They either ignore me or fail to show up as promised. Your words give me the resolve to keep advocating for those who are marginalized.

My promise.

Thank you, Parker, for sharing this.

One of the more difficult moral demands of all this is that most of us have someone we love who spouts hate in relation to one or all of these "revolutions." No one wants to lose the love of someone dear, so we often remain silent. You have reminded us that silence is not neutral; it is a passive vote weighted on the side of the idea, the action, the violence threatening our humanity. Thank you.

Also from Pete Seeger, verses in his performance of the old spiritual, We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder:
"Struggle's long but hope is longer (3x), brothers, sisters, all"
"Every new one makes us stronger (3x), brothers, sisters,all."

Six thoughts for 2016, one song, and one poem:

1. Those of us horrified by violence committed with guns anywhere need a new strategy. For one, we should follow the money. We’re not going to change the minds of state legislators and Congressional representatives who are indebted to NRA and other gun-promoting lobbyists with words, rational arguments, or emotional pleas. That’s just not how things work. We must BOYCOTT, and entirely DIVEST our interests in, any corporations that have anything to do with arms production or sales. Here’s a tiny example: I love Academy. And I don’t think Academy is the problem. But Academy sells guns. I need to stop walking by those aisles with my eyes averted. Academy, you’ve seen the last of me…… So, we need to find out what are the worst offenders and share that information. The Quakers had the right idea a long, long time ago. (Credit to the UFW, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, the Investor Responsibility Research Center [IRRC], and the anti-apartheid movement.) Not a penny more.

2. We need to boycott and entirely divest from all corporations (their holding companies, their subidiaries, their vendors, all of it) that profit from private prisons, detention centers, “family residential centers,” electronic monitoring devices, and the like. See above.

3. Starve the drug cartels, also, by boycotting and divesting. (This is not a call for more law enforcement or more unfair sentencing schemes.) The market is us, the U.S. Narcotics trafficking is devastating many communities, including almost everywhere in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and parts of Mexico. JUST STOP BUYING OR USING NARCOTICS. PERIOD.

4. With every fiber of our beings, with every single cell, with every thought, we need to end racism, the devaluating of lives of people with disabilities, transphobia, misogyny, homophobia, religious bigotry, and all other forms of bigotry. Another way to put this is to use Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s expansive but succinct definition of racism: “Racism, specifically, is the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” With EVERY fiber of our beings.

5. From now on, at least to the extent that I can help it: friends don't let friends do merits hearings on asylum cases alone. We need to work in pairs or teams or else we're going to emotionally disintegrate.

6. Treasure one another. Care for each other. Look for and notice beauty. Appreciate joy and joyous melancholy. Be kind.

take care,

Eloquent as always, considering the source. I would connect the dots between domestic and military gun policy. I don't think our global position as the biggest bully in the sandbox, the ultimate decider of regime changes, were what our forefathers had in mind when they created the War Department, later euphemized into the Department of Defense. And finally, I don't need signs of progress toward a "better" future to coerce me into acting in alignment with my values. In other words, I want to get serious about detachment from outcome, as Palmer does in all humility in Revolution Number 1.

What revolutions will I support this year?

For peace. In myself, my family, my community, the planet. Speak out and work in programs for dealing with violence in all these areas. Against people and every living creature on this planet.

Against climate change. Most probably too late for us to survive as a species, but what else is there to do but try to stop the madness?

As soon as I saw Parker Palmer on my Facebook I opened it because I knew he'd frame what's happening in ways that help me use my experience to revolutionize my actions in honest, respectful ways. Thank you all for creating platforms for so many cogent reflections.

If revolutions work best when they are for rather than against something, please tell me what you will work for rather than what you will work against.

Powerful and closest to where we are! Thanks.

This clarifies my commitments and hopes and feels like I can participate in a meaningful 2016. A big yes to moving forward...

Thank you,thank you,thank you ,dear Parker for enriching the hours left until the new year arrives with your call for each of us
to ponder in our hearts and minds what it might all mean for me personally.
I will share your 5 revolutions with friends in my faith community during the Forum we schedule for the hour between 2 services
every Sunday.
Let us create together , wherever we are,new signs of hope,reaching out to others,who will find new life often through the smallest good deeds offered.
Happy New Year,Parker ;
and also to all who sent in their reflections.
We can learn so very much from each other through our sharing.

Preach it, brother!

A friend has invited me to think about "Intentions" rather than resolutions for the year. What do I intend to be and do? What do I want to put out into the universe that is hopeful? Certainly Parker's words!

The world might be a better place if there was less passion and more compassion.

Parker, I'm new here. Brian Marsh is the new head of staff and pastor at the church I attend. He pointed me in your direction. I want to leave with you a resounding "Amen!" for this post. I recently passed somewhat silently and tearfully through several weeks of mild depression. Finally, I realized the world around me was laying heavily upon my heart and shoulders. Had God placed a lot of it there? Perhaps He did so at the same time a family situation arose that He or someone also placed with me. Was God sending me a message, a calling if you will?

When I began to look at how I wanted to live 2016 I pondered words looking for a cornerstone of sorts. What I ended up with is the word "intentional." Lately, I've not been intentional about the things I believe, believe in, need to stand for, want to change. Somewhat like your use of the word "revolutions" and Brian's subsequent use of the word "revolve" in his blog post tonight. In 2016 I intend to let my heart and voice be heard on behalf of my neighbors, no matter the color of their skin, their religion, the car they drive, the house they live in; and for all those who live the religion of greed and power, I will start speaking out against their hatred, ignorance, and dirty schemes. Thank you for underscoring what I've been needing to hear someone say these past few weeks.

I am motivated by your thoughts and words.

What a blunt, essential first read of 2016. Committing to double down my efforts to take a stand. Thank you Parker Palmer!

Ever forthright! Thank you, Parker, for the energy to this typo!

I appreciate the line of thinking this inspires. I would include a cultural revolution against materialism and impatience. Let us stop celebrating them.

I'm awful at keeping resolutions, but I have always been and continue to be, involved in revolutions , many of those you have addressed. The older I get, and as I reflect on the passing year at this time, I seem to get a little more downtrodden and have to really try much harder regain my focus and momentum and keep up the fight. Thank you for your words today. There will always be challenge to face and action to be taken. I really feel after reading this today that my fading flame has been given a boost! Looking and moving forward into 2016. Happy New Year!

Thank you sir for the great work you do. I love all the 5 resolutions... My reflection will be on the first one.. Fear of the other.

I work with children in over 50 schools on how to learn to live together peacefully without compromising anyone's values. I strongly believe in the bottom up approach.

You have inspired me to work even harder to change what I thought can't be changed...

Using the 4 values from the manual for arigatou international I strongly can change the world if we had them
1. Respect
2. Responsibility
3. Empathy
4. Reconciliation

I work with children teachers n parents we all have to speak the same language so we stop shifting the goal post for the children who form the next generation...

I try my best to work with all religious groups and that includes all those seen or taken as minority who are not on the big religious groups.... We hv been having dialogue on different issues but now your call to action forces me to move this to another level. Off the table into the community thanx

This year our focus will be more on children and women ... Creating safe environments in all there spaces.. And because i know the power they have as change agents. And also because they suffer most. However i have a policy of 50/50 famele/male Your work I spires me to be more action packed this year thank you sir

Have the best new year ever

Nageeba Hassan
Ambassador for peace builder & bridge connector
US Alumni Religious Tolerance
Meadville Lombard Fellow MRCD
Arigatou international/GNRC LTLT
Child protection actor
Women empowerment advocacy

FB naggie love

Thank you for these thoughts.


Thank you, thank you.

Yes. Beautiful. Thank you for all you do. Good cheer, good health and general goodness to you in the year to come!

You got the Pete Seeger guitar quote wrong. The quote really was "This machine kills fascists". I'm surprised you didn't know that. His 'revolution' was against something, not for something.

Hi, Lloyd. Just for the record, below is a link to a website with a photo of Pete's banjo (not guitar) and the following explanation in the eighth paragraph from the top: "Nor should we forget [Seeger's] amazing banjo with the immortal words carved around the outer edge: 'This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.' Seeger had taken Woody Guthrie’s original World War II-era concept, 'This machine kills fascists,' and transformed it into a timeless statement of tolerance and humanity." I, too, would argue that Pete's lifelong revolution was FOR "tolerance and humanity," which is much easier to achieve once you force hate to surrender.

P.S. If you find evidence that Pete had a guitar with the words "This machine kills fascists" inscribed on it, please let me know here. I certainly want to get the facts straight. Thanks!


Parker, Thank you for being part of the ground swell that recognizes that in spite of our horrific conditions the vision of a better world is slowly become a reality.
"Catch The Vision"-Let us all “Build Bridges of Understanding”
and help make the World A Better Place!
Let's create a world -where people of every religion, every race,
every culture, every political persuasion, every nationality and
every background, can join hands and hearts to help create a
much better world where we can all live together in peace and
prosperity, freedom and justice, goodwill and dignity.


Jim Manning
Dallas TX

A serendipitous typo indeed.
Children go to school hungry for more than just food. Possibly even more students are also lacking in a sense of safety, connection and meaning. They don't have it because there parents don't have it to give them. Any of these shortages have the same brain numbing effect as lack of food. It'll take more than just barely meeting peoples lowest level of needs to end the cycle of poverty.

Fear is the face of 2015. I support the face of LOVE for 2016. But I must listen to my brothers and sisters who stand beside their longing. Being white is a false privilege....I did not do anything to become white. I have grandchildren who are from Asia and Africa....they have taught me a bit. I see the homeless...why are they homeless? What can I do? These things and so much else I must ponder and become Love so as to release it. Tough to do....but am trying.

I wish that you had been positive, Parker. Opposing without proposing is to destroy without building. To end without replacing is to leave other lives to any who wish dreams or mischief, and which has the greater motivation in our world? That we would like to end what is should show us the answer to that. We cannot speak of good except as specific instances. There is no general good. We can only do good in specific instances, to individual people, yet your words for ending are specific, your words for building are general, and they belong to others like the New York Times.

If I were to implement your thoughts here, how would I know what to actually do?

I can't speak for everything on the list. But for racism, here are some things you can do:

Powerful! Soul searching! Challenging! I pledge to own the challenges and commit to going them.

Spot on. Thank you for articulating what no doubt so many of us feel.

I have to agree with Wendy who submitted a reflection earlier! This article gave me 2 revolutions I can chip away at personally in my own community! I have been contemplating them for a long time, and Parker has just called me to action. I am truly excited about using my voice in the revolution. Thank you, Parker!

Your revolution # 1 gives me a way of dealing with white people who speak disparagingly of others, especially African Americans who are involved in the #Black Lives Matter protests. I was in downtown Chicago this week when a protest on north Michigan Avenue resulted in buses being re-routed. The problem was that no one knew where to catch the bus. A young white man standing next to me who didn't know where to catch his bus referred to the protesters as "jerks" because he was inconvenienced. I didn't know what to say to him and decided to keep my mouth shut as I viewed him as ignorant and didn't want to get into an argument. I did tell him I was glad that the protest against police brutality toward blacks was taking place. I did not tell him that I, an African American, found his words offensive. So thank you for this suggestion. I will memorize these words and use them when someone demeans a person who is different from them.

Your revolution #2 is probably the first time I've seen white privilege and white supremacy mentioned in the same sentence. I've begun to cringe every time I hear the words "white privilege" as it seems as if whites use this term as a way of absolving themselves of guilt about privileges they have without acknowledging its relationship with white supremacy.

Thank you for this powerful message that calls us to act staring with our own hearts and to rid ourselves of our own delusions and fantasies that the horrors of this world do not affect us or our loved ones-every refugee that must go through Hell to get to safety affects me and each of us---we are indeed responsible

I was deeply affected by this and have read it several times. All 5 revolutions are profoundly true.
Thank you giving me a guide down the path of my future.

Thank you, Palmer, for reminding us that truly important societal resolutions must involve revolutions. I don't want to be among the ones living up on the hill. I would rather live below, with substantially less, but spiritually far more, with the Mother Theresas of the world.

Thank for all of your inspirations, insights and soul searching reflections. I'm blessed and grateful.

Thank you Parker for being an honest and open ally in the struggle for equality, justice and peace. I am working diligently to remain hopeful for positive change. Someone posted "When will this end?" after the Tamir Rice verdict. My response was "When the majority of the majority says it should." I hope your sentiments are not simply read but lived this year and beyond.

In the face of evil, too easily we see the victims and the villains without remembering that we have a choice in how to respond. Will we be voyeurs - standing by and watching passively or will we be victors - standing up for the values we so often profess.

A revolution is timely - we need to recapture our humanity -

Thank you for calling us to come to revolution, which implies action, rather than just resolution, which only implies thought. Very good sharing! Thank you! May 2016 and beyond be very Happy New Years!!!

Establishing aspirations to improve is a very valuable and important process. May all your resolutions come true! Through our actions.
All men and women of good nature should participate in these noble endeavors.
Some possibilities to get all of us rolling:
First by being aware of the habitual mind set they have accepted of these things being "normal" or "unsolvable".
Secondly, examine our own hearts and minds and determine
a)how we actually encourage these negative situations in our neighborhoods, our towns, and our cities, our states, and in our nation. b)how we encourage these conditions of self centeredness in our homes, our jobs, and in our recreational pursuits .
c) how we can do one simple act each day to
1."Say Hello" to someone different than us.
2. Ask people, who we think are different from us, about their lives, and the lives of their families
3. Visit you local school and volunteer to read a story, help with a project, or talk about your work or life to young people
4. Write to your congressman about the need to reduce gun violence as a public health issue.
5. Share - every day - in personal action - every day - share from your pocket, your mind, and your heart.

We all need to think of others so less fortunate than we are here in America. We have to reach out, understand and care!

I join you in gratitude in your new year revolutions. You are a ray of hope.

Peter you have put together a well organized and thoughtful summary of what is wrong with our world today. I struggle on a daily basis to understand why we can not get ahead of these issues and what can I do to help impact these injustices. I hope that your editorial can continue to be shared throughout the year so that your words will continue to remind of of what the issues are and that we need to act NOW to address them. Thank you

The answer to evil is within reach , it is free, Reach out and touch a person that is so different than you, extend your hand, your welcome, a hug perhaps, Listen to their story.....make a friend. Share what you have already, a extra warm coat , a pair of gloves, part of your lunch, Give of your time...Show up to give voice to causes that support immigration policies that respect people not hate,Show up to help someone learn the language or get on their feet or a million other causes .Show up overseas.. in the toughest of places to help if you can....or if you cant help these ways due to time or your own families needs.. take a few minutes to write a letter of support .. give voice to the efforts for a healthy , just world, stand for peace , post on your sites in the middle of the night... be a kind , caring Peace and Justice fanatic... the world needs more of do not be silent..Speak out , write your elected officials , stand up for those that need a voice. The world can change for the better .. but it needs all of its people to Step up and try.

The Revolution against Crude Oil and finally the implementation of all the Technologies and Materials that will help cleaning our planet!!!

Most intriguing.

I couldn't agree more with "revolutions" 1, 3, and 4. On 2, I define myself and see everyone else as a member of the one and only human race. I do not discriminate against anyone and have been actively engaged in the battle against such discrimination all of my adult life. If others define themselves and others differently, it's their choice. If they discriminate, I will continue to join in the battle against them. At any rate, I feel no guilt. On 5, I do not regard myself as complicit in keeping any others down and will continue to fight for equal rights and opportunity for all while having no guilt feelings about doing so.

I need to reflect upon this every day to remain mindful of ways in which I have been complicit.

Thanks for your reflection. I often think about the news I read in the paper, watch on Face the Nation, & view on 60 Minutes. How do we begin to set term limits for persons serving in public office and have the criteria for of all legislation as "providing the common good".

Please tell me how to print Parker Palmer's New Years resolutions

I found this article to be powerful and soul-searching.

Mr. Palmer, I offer my heartfelt thanks for your inspiring words. The much needed revolution that must happen in our attitudes and actions can only be fueled by hope and empathy. You have so candidly and courageously identified the sources of toxicity that have overwhelmed the prevailing discourse around us. Your guidance is so appreciated. Your goodness shines and cleanses. Thanks again.

Powerful, and a big thanks to Mr. Palmer. I'll have to email this to myself and read it once a month if it's going to be a real resolution!

You and your work are so much a part of the good in my world, Parker Palmer. Thank you for your fierce honestly--you hit a tender spot here with your reference to "worked hard and played by the rules"...gonna continue unpacking that one on the road ahead. Many blessings to you and all of us in 2016.

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I always feel inspired by your podcasts and the On Being program podcasts and articles are my biggest sign that there are indeed signs of progress towards a better future. You remind me that I now need to put my thoughts and words into action thus my biggest goal for 2016 is to identify ways to achieve this .

Insightful on many levels, Parker. Glad to have found you here. I'll be candid: it is a joy to read these words from someone who doesn't look like me, per se. We are all connected on a very soul, human, and spirit level, yet we deny the humanity of others in our privileged and normative omissions.

I like this idea of "revolutions" versus "resolutions" because year after after we resolve to do something differently; yet, little actually changes, hence, the need for revolutions. Fundamentally, we must change the way we view and respond "with" and on behalf of humanity. Thank you for your solidarity.

Be Well.

Were all fighting the good fight, trying to make the world a better place, so please help to spread the word. We can no longer afford to remain silent when we have something to say, we can no longer afford to remain passive when action needs to be takin, we must do what we can, what is best for each of us/all with what we have so that we can help to set a solid foundation for future generations to build upon:

You want to know how to make world peace a reality, well, here you go folks :)

Along with food forests, wire/tunnel like structures over sidewalks made of material that will not rust and stuff that have food and other plants growing/wrapping around them making for a beautiful walk and plenty of free food that you can grab along the way, countless things can be done to cities/buildings/etc to green things up, multi storied/layered plant troths/trays/pots, gardens, bee friendly flowers, etc many people around the world can grow enough food in there backyards and cities to more then feed the entire populous, you can have multi layered gardening/growing/food trays, trays placed on walls, growing ops in houses/buildings, on walls and so on with the proper lightings (And yes we can build underground and in other cool areas too for those who wish to do so :)

There is more then enough room for greenery and the lot and we will have several times more then enough green energies/power/etc, as well as water/liquid/food for everyone/thing (With no money there is no worries about processing the salt water and converting it to fresh water through desalination plants and other methods like reusing/recycling your own water, complex/flexible/highly effective and pyramid +Self moving automated solar panels and magnifying glass like effects and complex wind turbines and countless other things with systems/methods and so on that would cost an absolute fortune back in the days of money that people can now actually use and have many do at home methods and there will be more then enough changes made to allow for people to figure out how to make sure that we no longer require pesticides and other harmful things and that rabbits and other creatures do not eat/ruin/destroy everything and get out of control with population, diseases/etc, so that we can all, humans and non humans alike properly benefit and have full lives, not to mention all of the water recycling/reusing methods and all the rest of it that will be put into place for everyone - No more money folks, no more money :)

Plus many more non polluting energy sources/etc to support everyone with a comfortable lifestyle, including the once homeless/etc who will be living in what were once banking/corporate buildings/etc/etc, these buildings and other structures/etc being converted into living spaces and other useful outlets for true/guaranteed sustainable living for all (there will be no more insane waste of space/resources and all the rest of it and just here on Earth alone there is far more then enough materials/etc for everyone and we can clean up our mess and make this planet better then it has ever been) and speaking of space, yes we should pay attention and learn from it, as in having enough professionals/equipment to monitor 100% of the skies for killer rocks and other dangerous cosmic activities and have more at tenting on plans to take care of an otherwise lethal situation, to be healing/monitoring the earth/ourselves/life, we can explore Mars and the rest of it later once we have solved enough of our own troubles :)

You’ve got all kinds of web services that allow you to design your own home, gardens and countless other things, including ideas/inventions and the likes, those along with schooling/teaching websites with different courses, hobbies and so on and so forth can all be easily available to us (obviously not a how to guide on how to build a nuke and such) and managed by the experts in those said fields so that you know all the info you are getting is legit :)

Also, if humanity is so hopeless, insensitive, violent and the likes today and is not like the so called good old days, then why is it that over 99% of us don’t want to cause trouble and that we want a better world? (1 in a 100 people equals out to around 70mil), and very few of the trouble makers are out to cause harm that is not due to any events in their lives. We are by nature a diverse/peace loving species, so peaceful in fact that virtually all of us just keep taking the shit (That keeps getting worse) that the system and the few &%$^&%^&*%&*^&^$@$!@@$#!@#@%$$&^%*&^**^$^#%@%$$@@$&%^^%s (Who are that way for whatever reason/s) keep throwing our way, if anything we are becoming more enlightened and less violent as time goes on, and yes far more harmful things are coming to light…because of technologies, better understanding, communications (How many people do you think want to actually go to war/fight as oppose to wanting world peace?), far less stuff being hidden/etc/etc/etc. Peace on earth is already here and aside from the rare persons Who knows maybe with enough communications certain people can be found to properly help them too) we can properly help everyone who needs it in todays world, right now, right this second, peace around virtually the entire globe (In the not too distant future, all of it) will happen, if we let it :)

Here hows it can go with the learning facilities/courses: Music, theatre, making glass and stain glass + creating with them, metallurgy, welding, auto mechanics/machines, art/drawing, woodworking, computers programming, animation/movie/video game/programming creation, cameras/devices, media, marketing, cooking, eco tech/planting/greenhouses/etc, family/people/humanitarian/emotion, inventors/innovators, psychiatry, how to truly think for yourself and when/how to be a leader and a follower, how to communicate, use ones own common sense, how most of us can be enlightened Rams as oppose to being sheep for the wolves, help each other and how to find/spot those that need it, to be the best version of you, how to best use technologies to learn the maths, etc, etc, etc, the list is endless and forever evolving, this will open up so many more possibilities that will no longer be out of reach for so many :)

Peace is great yet we should not let down our guard all the same as others may be just biting their time and waiting for the perfect moment to strike with their nukes or what have you, but no worries I am certain that in the not too distant future that we will all be able to manage everything and not have to worry about such things :)

Transportation, not a problem, especially with so many brilliant minds finally being freed up to make it greener/better/etc for us all, plus with so many people being much more community based, in their own towns/homes/cities so to speak we will not be needing to use transport so much, besides how many drive back and forth to jobs that are not even needed or farther away then they need to be (Many jobs out there today should already be obsolete “not the skills of the workers just the jobs” and as for the ones that are truly vital there will always be more then enough people with more then enough skills who love the vital ones/will be more then happy enough to take care of them and us as a whole are naturally a cooperative species and long to share our talents, be with others and just help one another out and even now tons of people volunteer and help others, the community/etc who still have jobs and especially when we are free things will be far better then they are now, which is what will happen when we stop using money and move passed the monetary system) and the rest, we will take care of, handle things/help each other as a community, so it wont even be an issue (We’ll figure everything out together :)

Not to mention the countless materials (Such as all of the plastics, rubbers, glass, metals/etc/etc/etc) that have been tossed (Including many that currently cannot be recycled) wish can be used for countless things and several people with very creative minds in their field will continuously think up awesome ideas/innovations to keep things advancing/going and have continuous, inventions/innovations/creativities that will be so vast and as we truly enter this new resonance era :)

We can have greenhouses and other stuff galore and we don’t have to give up chips, pop, pizza and countless other great things, plus scientists have already created bacon from stem cells and it wont be long before medical science can do the same for all body parts, no scars or nothing, perfect health and immortality if we wish it and vitamins can be automatically added to foods/drinks/etc to best meet our individual needs (3D printers can create the parts needed to self replicate themselves and even print edible food) and we can even have more grocery stores then ever before with all the good stuff while still keeping things tasting great without the chemical and all the cheeping out that so many do to save a buck, soon having humane dairy/meet/etc created in the lab then in the comfort of your own home…so many countless/awesome things can be done for the world today (One of many other things that can be done, well, those beautiful/fancy ice hotels/sculptures/etc, many can be made in areas where they will not melt :)

With so many brilliant minds free to invent/improve things by continuous leaps and bounds without the countless atrocities/sufferings of money/greed, creativity/life/etc will truly keep evolving by never ending leaps and bounds, but like Egypt there are most likely going to be undercover people and others hired to try and make things worse, people rioting, wars started by propaganda and the likes, so we must keep our heads together and our hearts strong, love will win and we must not fall pray to the bullshit of the few (Percentage wise, there are very few people on earth who are committing crimes and far more who are keeping the peace, and given the way things are today, that tells me that we will make it, we are a smart/caring/cooperative/peace loving species), and as for those few who are trying to keep us in the dark they will not want to loose this current system and will fight till the end and cause as much fear and the likes that they can to try and keep it, so no matter what fear, rumours, false footage, reports/etc that they spew out and events that they try to create, we can’t fall pray to hate and revenge, we cant be the fuel that feeds their flame, we can not give those with deadly weapons reasons to use them :)

Also, what they teach in schools you can find on the internet, which in turn can be far better structured to make it easy to find/study what you wish with plenty of online discussion forms/help available as well as your community/etc - Doctors and such you will need hands on training as well, but what I am trying to say is most everything does not require that you have to be present in an actual classroom and this can leave even more areas that can be set up for the gifted inventors, thinkers, futurists and so on to come up with new/improved ideas/inventions/etc for those that prefer not to work from home. We can all have seeds/food/plants that can grow each year, produce seeds of their own/etc, empty lots/etc can be planted/forested (Best to go by natures rules/growth patterns/etc for planting trees and so on as well as repairing areas and reintroducing native plants/species/etc and Masanobu Fukuokas Seed ball method as well as his natural farming techniques are great and so is the homegrown revolution, amongst many others) and places set up where innovators can invent, talk and get what they need, to also work from home if they wish :)

In todays’ world we have more than enough resources and smarts at our disposal to make much more wondrous lives for every human being while being able to give the very best of care for all of the suffering (Even if our population was to suddenly double overnight) while still maintaining a very healthy planet, and yes, it is true, we could still make this world far better then it has ever been for humans and non humans alike even if there were roughly 15 to 20 billion+ people in the world today and we will always be able to continue to keep life awesome for all generations to come :)

So awesome in fact that that we may have to use a new word to describe this beyond awesome state, and/or possibly even this new era, maybe something like this one that I thought up, “Phosomancesss” - pronounced as “Faw-Sohm-An-Sisss/Fawsohmansisss :)” (A cross between “Phoenix, Awesome, Om, Renaissance and the hissing sounds of a species once hated/feared by many, know as Snakes”) Definition: A state/place of continuous transcendent evolution :)

I for one would weep to no end if humanity as a whole were to abandon technologies, science/etc/etc as they are (As far as I am concerned) absolutely vital keys to our quality of life, salvation and continuing ascension, completion, awesome lives for the world over, for true freedom and so much more (Someday, because of them we ourselves can become everything that we need so that we will no longer need many of these things, but for now and for a while to come, I say, let those of us who want tech/etc embrace and continue to benefit from all of these things and in turn make lives as best we can for everyone in every way that they wish while remembering to keep their lifestyles/beliefs/etc in mind, lets go wild with museums, amusement parks, religious/holy structures and countless other life enriching/enhancing things :)

As for posting videos and other stuff, so long as you don’t plastering your name on other peoples photos/etc you should be allowed to post whatever videos you want (Including music, news/etc videos, again, so long as you don’t plaster your name/credit on them) and to also post your own video creations (Even if you use others photos, clips/etc and giving yourself credit for creating the video is fine just so long as you don’t claim that you created those individual pics/clips/etc if they are not of your creation) and if people state that they don’t want you to use/post their material for obvious and legit/non crap and non monetary reasons then their personal/etc materials should be kept to them and just having stuff posted on the net, especially if its for the world too see runs the risk of others finding and using it. Also, like so much other stuff, aside from the obvious stuff most of us shouldn’t have/etc, everyone being able to have the computer programs/software/etc/etc/etc of their choosing including otherwise outrageously expensive ones, the sky is no longer the limit, remember, money is no longer an issue :)

When things are truly changing, people will truly be able to heal/bleed out the emotional bullshit and free themselves/there minds, life will be very fulfilling and far from boring for you guys without money, to start there will be countless activities/tasks/things to keep you preoccupied whenever you want to do something, not to mention the joys of working together knowing that your helping to clean up the planet and doing countless feel good stuff, help other people/creatures/plants/etc and with people having far more freedoms to invent, create and improve life/etc things will only continue to get better for us as we will in many respects connect like we have connected before and be like one gigantic native american indian global type of community, we will at last know/feel true/real freedom the world over :)

Thank you Mr Palmer. I remember when i first read this article a year ago and read it to my dear grandmother. She printed out several copies and shared them at the quaker meeting house in houston (where we worship). Infact, i believe this was one of her favorite readings of 2015.

After the magnanimous events of 2016 (i can remember more bad than good) i wonder what more can we say or do? The greater conversation must go on, the one which stops projecting our enemy images on others. We must do our grief work and change to be a kinder, more empathetic society. We must seek to create the change we so desire.

"The revolution against the state of denial in which most white Americans live..." As when we refuse to recognize the Left's war against us through their media, Hollywood and academia.

You may very well have "never known a white person who was pulled over for 'driving while white,' or tracked through a store for 'shopping while white.' But I’ve known some and known of many who have been killed or beaten to within inches of death solely because of hate, much of it cultivated by the above mentioned institutions.

Though the prospects for sustaining these revolutions seem even more grim today, one year and a day after their first publication (on December 30, 2015,) there are more true believers today than cynics if popular vote totals reveal actual truth. And these five revolutions, and the causes they will reinvigorate, still deserve our prayer, our passion and our preseverence.

Thank you.

I have been seduced by the desire for instant gratification for and immediate resolution to long term challenges. Recognizing the illusions behind that seduction may be the first step I can take as an 'action before the action.' Parker Palmers' five revolutions take the recognition of my own complicity a step farther. Joining with others willing to enter the long haul is needed even though I'm almost Parker's age and won't see much of the results from that kind of resolve. Nevertheless, recognizing and connecting with those who do walking into reality will frame my life and from it I and we may recognize some kind of purpose for our living and dying and living. Thanks, Parker and all of you. I'll be momentarily pleased if the Green Bay Packers win tomorrow, but my life doesn't depend on it. The ongoing renewal and revolution in life kind of does. Peace.

Parker, I agree with you. As a public school teacher and U.S. citizen, I would like to raise another question. Can we change culture to help improve the conditions we live and work in? My reason for this question is that far more kids come to school unwilling or unable to learn due to influences of our culture and media than just those who are living in poverty. The impact of media is huge. I think it is one of the reasons people who will never be rich empathize with the ultra-rich and allow that power to be continually propagated. People have been subjuected to the belief that everyone can and should "have it all," and have it without the strain of the day to day slog of real work. I do not know how to get a handle on this. I do know that I have found ways to inspire excitement for work and willingness to learn in most of my middle school students, but it has been a huge challenge.
Thank you for continuing to inspire me and for challenging society to look at things through new eyes. Have a blessed new year!