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Parker J. Palmer

Parker J. Palmer was a columnist for On Being from 2014 to 2018. He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder and senior partner emeritus of the Center for Courage & Renewal; his latest project is The Growing Edge. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. His latest book is On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old.

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On the approach to his 78th birthday, Parker offers up a gift: six learnings that prove that our personal evolution spans the whole length of life, and continues in the generations we nurture forward.
Our dreams can be great motivators. But what if what we aspire to is already within our grasp? A poem on letting go of the stress of ambition and embracing our innate potential.
What would it look like to quarrel with our country in a way the soul would affirm? A contemplation of patriotism turned inward, and the "fierce-love truth-telling" that will help us become the democratic community we aspire to be.