Let Your Life Speak - Parker J. Palmer

Where was this book read? Over the course of many months, usually in the morning accompanied by a pen and a cup of coffee. 

Where did this book come from? Amazon. I know. Don't hate me. I try not to buy from the big "A" very often. I was told with great urgency that I needed to read this book and I couldn't find it in a few local bookstores so alas, Amazon it was. 

The Specs: Essays, vocation, wholeness, Quaker faith, personal truth, depression, and a definition of "leadership" that doesn't make you roll your eyes. 


On embracing reality and our multi-dimensional selves: 

"One dwells with God by being faithful to one's nature. One crosses God by trying to be something one is not. Reality - including one's own - is divine, to be not defied but honored."

"The God I know does not ask us to conform to some abstract norm for the ideal self. God asks us only to honor our created nature, which means our limits as well as our potentials... The God I know is the source of reality rather than morality, the source of what is than what ought to be."

"An inevitable though often ignored dimension on the quest for 'wholeness' is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident about."

How our inner consciousness has more power to ignite change than our external realities: 

"Consciousness precedes being: consciousness, yours and mine can form, deform, or reform our world. Our complicity in world making is a source of awesome and sometimes painful responsibility - and a source of profound hope for change." 

Palmer's refreshing definition of leadership:

"Good leadership comes from people who have penetrated their own inner darkness and arrived at the place where we are at one with one another, people who can lead the rest of us to a place of 'hidden wholeness' because they have been there and know the way."

A thoughtful critique on how we view individual development today:

"But the master metaphor of our era does not come from agriculture - it comes from manufacturing. We do not believe that we 'grow' out lives - we believe that we 'make' them."

On finding instruction in the natural world:

"...abundance is a communal act, the joint creation of an incredibly complex ecology in which each part functions on behalf of the whole and, in return, is sustained by the whole. Community doesn't just create abundance - community is abundance. If we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human world might be transformed." 

How important is it that I read this book? I dub this book required reading, especially to those who are 25 and under.

Buy it or borrow it? I'm glad that I bought this book because I made lots of notes inside it. It is small, inexpensive, and worth having in your personal library.