What the World Needs Now
January 11, 2017 in Inside SWS
A well-worn copy of Parker Palmer’s inspiring work, “Let Your Life Speak,” sits prominently on my bookshelf. A dear friend and mentor introduced me to this treasure thirty years ago, as I found myself feeling adrift in my personal and professional life. I have returned to its comforting pages regularly, and passed copies on to my children as they move out into the world.
On the age old question “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Palmer wisely writes, “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.” He arrived at this conclusion the hard way, as many of us do, by realizing at some moment that the life he was living was not his own. His pursuit of success, as measured by society, had left him feeling empty and inauthentic. The traditional measures of fame and fortune were not serving him — or the world that he hoped to create — well.
In a recent blog post, Beverly Amico, Executive Director for Advancement at AWSNA, explores the dichotomy between striving for a life of significance rather than success. She begins with sharing this wonderful missive from David Orr, “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”
I encourage you to read Beverly’s compelling message. Spoiler alert: the world needs more Waldorf graduates. Young men and women who believe in the power of connection between people, not technology. Who believe in building bridges, not constructing barriers. Who believe that pursuing one’s passions means taking risks, not seeking approval. People who believe the journey is as important as the destination, and living a life of significance is far more meaningful than a life of success.
Warm wishes for a joyful 2017!
Published in the Chalkboard from 1.11.17