Top 100

Top 120 Parker J. Palmer Quotes (2023 Update)
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Parker J. Palmer Quote: “What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been! How often in the process we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity – the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Humility is the only lens though which great things can be seen – and once we have seen them, humility is the only posture possible.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about-quite apart from what I would like it to be about-or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life – about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I enter into and how I conduct them.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling the who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live-but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The inner life of any great thing will be incomprehensible to me until I develop and deepen an inner life of my own.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “When the heart is supple, it can be “broken open” into a greater capacity to hold our own and the world’s pain: it happens every day. When we hold our suffering in a way that opens us to greater compassion, heartbreak becomes a source of healing, deepening our empathy for others who suffer and extending our ability to reach out to them.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I want to learn how to hold the paradoxical poles of my identity together, to embrace the profoundly opposite truths that my sense of self is deeply dependent on others dancing with me and that I still have a sense of self when no one wants to dance.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “We are exploring together. We are cultivating a garden together, backs to the sun. The question is a hoe in our hands and we are digging beneath the hard and crusty surface to the rich humus of our lives.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The past isn’t fixed and frozen in place. Instead, its meaning changes as life unfolds.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “If you hold your knowledge of self and world wholeheartedly, your heart will at times get broken by loss, failure, defeat, betrayal, or death. What happens next in you and the world around you depends on how your heart breaks. If it breaks apart into a thousand pieces, the result may be anger, depression, and disengagement. If it breaks open into greater capacity to hold the complexities and contradictions of human experience, the result may be new life.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The door that closed kept us from entering a room, but what now lies before us is the rest of reality.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of the beauty and meaning at the heart of life. It’s your birthright gift.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see I have a chance to gain self knowledge and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject. In fact, knowing my students and my subject depends heavily on self knowledge.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I value ethical standards, of course. But in a culture like ours – which devalues or dismisses the reality and power of the inner life – ethics too often becomes an external code of conduct, an objective set of rules we are told to follow, a moral exoskeleton we put on hoping to prop ourselves up. The problem with exoskeletons is simple: we can slip them off as easily as we can don them.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The civility we need will not come from watching our tongues. It will come from valuing our differences.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Authority is granted to people who are perceived as authoring their own words, their own actions, their own lives, rather than playing a scripted role at great remove from their own hearts. When teachers depend on the coercive powers of law or technique, they have no authority at all.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The people who help us grow toward true self offer unconditional love, neither judging us to be deficient nor trying to force us to change but accepting us exactly as we are. And yet this unconditional love does not lead us to rest on our laurels. Instead, it surrounds us with a charged force field that makes us want to grow from the inside out – a force field that is safe enough to take the risks and endure the failures that growth requires.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out into them.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Depression was, indeed, the hand of a friend trying to press me down to ground on which it was safe to stand – the ground of my own truth, my own nature, with its complex mix of limits and gifts, liabilities and assets, darkness and light.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “By choosing integrity, I become more whole, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means becoming more real by acknowledging the whole of who I am.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Death in various forms is sometimes comforting, while resurrection and new life can be demanding and threatening. If I lived as if resurrection were real, and allowed myself to die for the sake of a new life, what might I be called upon to do?”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The soul is like a wild animal – tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Today education has become a training ground for competition.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “When we catch sight of the soul, we can become healers in a wounded world-in the family, in the neighborhood, in the workplace, and in political life-as we are called back to our “hidden wholeness” amid the violence of the storm.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Authority is granted to people who are perceived as authoring their own words, their own actions, their own lives, rather than playing a scripted role at great remove from their own hearts.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “But before we come to that center, full of light, we must travel in the dark. Darkness is not the whole of the story-every pilgrimage has passages of loveliness and joy-but it is the part of the story most often left untold.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “She meant that her soul was tired, her heart was tired, her whole being was tired...”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I think the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of reality because illusion never leaves us ultimately happy.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.14.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Vocation at its deepest level is, “This is something I can’t not do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else and don’t fully understand myself but that are nonetheless compelling.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The more you know about another person’s story, the less possible it is to see that person as your enemy.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I have been astonished to see how nature uses devastation to stimulate new growth, slowly but persistently healing her own wounds.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “We are cursed with the blessing of consciousness and choice, a two-edged sword that both divides us and can help us become whole. But choosing wholeness, which sounds like a good thing, turns out to be risky business, making us vulnerable in ways we would prefer to avoid.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Good teaching comes from good people.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The powers and principalities would hold less sway over our lives if we refused to collaborate with them. But refusal is risky, so we deny our own truth, take up lives of “self-impersonation,” and betray our identities.2.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The soul speaks its truth only under quiet, inviting, and trustworthy conditions.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “What happened to “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”?”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The English word “truth” comes from a Germanic root that also gives rise to our word “troth,” as in the ancient vow “I pledge thee my troth.” With this word one person enters a covenant with another, a pledge to engage in mutually accountable and transforming relationship... to know in truth is to become betrothed, to engage the known with one’s whole self... to know in truth is to be known as well.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “I am blessed to live in a democracy, not a totalitarian state. But the democracy I cherish is constantly threatened by a brand of politics that clothes avarice and the arrogance of power in patriotic and religious garb.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Bill Moyers has said, “The antidote, the only antidote, to the power of organized money in Washington is the power of organized people.”10.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Alice Kaplan is a teacher of French language and literature, and she has done this kind of remembering in a book called French Lessons. “Why do people want to adopt another culture?” she asks as she summarizes her journey into teaching and into life. “Because there’s something in their own they don’t like, that doesn’t name them.”5.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “What passes for political realism may make for lively academic debates. But it often functions, ironically, as a tool of social control, rendering us passive with an analysis that overwhelms and paralyzes us.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “In the presence of a newly minted human being, I am reminded of what wholeness looks like. And I am sometimes moved to wonder, “Whatever became of me?”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “The writer Anne Lamott says, “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”28.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Community can teach us that our grip on truth is fragile and incomplete, that we need many ears to hear the fullness of God’s word for our lives.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “Under stress, an unexercised heart will explode in frustration or fury. If the situation is especially tense, that exploding heart may be hurled like a fragment grenade toward the source of its pain. But a heart that has been consistently exercised through conscious engagement with suffering is more likely to break open instead of apart. Such a heart has learned how to flex to hold tension in a way that expands its capacity for both suffering and joy.”
Parker J. Palmer Quote: “One sign that I am violating my own nature in the name of nobility is a condition called burnout. Though usually regarded as the result of trying to give too much, burnout in my experience results from trying to give what I do not possess-the ultimate in giving too little! Burnout is a state of emptiness, to be sure, but it does not result from giving all I have: it merely reveals the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place.”
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