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.

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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.

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Reflections

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!

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"
And
"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,
everyone

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
KAICIID Fellow IRCD
Meadville Lombard Fellow MRCD
Arigatou international/GNRC LTLT
Child protection actor
Women empowerment advocacy

FB naggie love

Thank you for these thoughts.

Amen!

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!

See www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/01/28/pete-seeger-dies-how-the-mighty-have-fallen/

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.

MAY THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND GOODWILL TO ALL...
BECAUSE GOD, JEHOVAH, ALLAH... BLESSES ALL HUMANITY!

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 me...in 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!

Parker,
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 us...so 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.

apples