Parker J. Palmer
American democracy is illumined by multiple voices calling us to pursue questions of personal, communal, and political meaning. A Quaker reminds us to vigorously question those who say the U.S. is a Christian nation.
Parker Palmer pens an elegy to mark the anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination — a balm for a hurting world.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Parker Palmer highlights the importance of "wounded healers" and what we can do to let heartbreak open ourselves to suffering and the kindness necessary for social change.
There are those people who know how to get ahead of the train wreck and those folks who are called to their senses after the collision has happened. But, catastrophe, too, can be a contemplative path if you choose to accept it.
What makes each child unique cannot be measured or scored. A nourishing story from a school principal on the "many ways of being smart" and testing children.
In response to Courtney Martin's letter, Parker Palmer corresponds with his dear friend about the uncertainty of life. A contemplation on the value of being vulnerable and open to supportive friends.
Has technology failed to deliver on its promise: to lighten our load? A wry meditation on play, gratitude, and the gift of life.
With the visual glories of autumn, the living is hidden within the dying. A pondering about this season of paradox and the "the endless interplay of living and dying" we all must embrace.
The metaphors we use matter. Parker Palmer claims the metaphor of seasons to gently remind us that we're not in charge, that we're not alone, that it's possible to transform and be transformed in this world.
Politics can divide more often than unite. But, deep involvement in the civic sphere doesn't mean we have to sacrifice empathy and civility.
Summer's passing and earth's decay can elicit a deepening melancholy for some. A pondering on the "paradoxical dance" of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay — with lyrical assists from Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton.
With the words of Rilke, an encouragement to ask life-giving questions and create new pathways.
The politics of rage so often focuses us on lack of action and despair. But, the broken heart is an important political and personal reality, one that can liberate the mind if exercised properly.
Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature's great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the "vast web of life in which body and spirit are one."
Generosity and gratitude don't require extraordinary means, just the gift of time and attention. Parker and Wendell on giving yourself away.
Gardening is replete with metaphors for living well. With the help of a May Sarton poem, Parker Palmer builds on a less-obvious metaphor.
With the words of Rumi echoing loudly, Parker Palmer invites us to explore a "field" of sound ideas and right relationship with one another.
External "oughts" and "shoulds" can create impossibly high aspirations — and equally high levels of guilt about falling short. A personal exploration sharing the delicate experience of "befriending" depression and ways of reframing our expectations of self.
How might we summon “the better angels of our nature" as political shenanigans ensue? The ever-wise Parker Palmer offers a few suggestions (and a poem, of course!) to reclaim our commons — and our humanity — during this election season.
The imprint a father leaves on his child remains. Parker remembers his deceased Dad and the values he imparted with a poem.
Thomas Merton and Lao Tzu make compelling cases for flowing around obstacles rather than butting up against them. If we do so, we fight inequities in the world with equanimity and make a life worth living for all.
"How can we learn to embrace with love the whole of who we are?" Parker Palmer with three tools to help us show up as we really are and live and love fully as we engage with the world.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July in the States, Parker Palmer contemplates the hope, the promise, and the opportunity of "we the people" with a song from Leonard Cohen.
Recent events in the life of the world have made it challenging to engage in trust and hope. Parker Palmer turns to another type of knowing that leads to grace.