Let your life speak : listening for the voice of vocation

by Parker J. Palmer

Hardcover, 1999



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Jossey-Bass (1999), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 128 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member daletadlock
With wisdom, compassion and gentl humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.… (more)
LibraryThing member FlyingBarney
A very different way of looking into one's vocation. An awesome timeless read.
LibraryThing member jpsnow
Certain books prove that it takes depth of experience and a lot of contemplation in order to be both profound and concise. Parker Palmer is one such case. If his experiences haven't been as harrowing as Frankl's or as isolated as Merton's, they are in some ways more directly relevant to the modern experience of career's as a quest for fulfillment. Palmer has been an academic, a social worker, a teacher, and a writer, not to mention what can only be described as a Quaker-monastic. The summary sentence is: "Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be." The full work is elegant, and every chapter will give you a thought that merits reflection. I recommend it.… (more)
LibraryThing member ctoll
Palmer writes about his own decisions regarding career and vocation and in the process helps readers to think about what matters in their lives. There is also a chapter in which Parker writes about his own pyschological depressions and the insights he gained from them regarding the need to honor one's shadow self. This book influenced my thinking about my own career choices; I have given copies to several friends who were seeking to find their way in life.… (more)
LibraryThing member kaulsu
It was quite a treat to re-read this Quaker classic for the 2012 QPCC coming in a few weeks. I first read this book right before I entered seminary and it's ideas of calling angpd gifts were new to me. Although I was familiar with Merton and Rilke and Dillard, Frederick Buechner was new. I found his often quoted definition of vocation, "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's greatest need" to resonate within me even to today.

If you have not yet read this slim volume, I think you will find something of value within its pages.
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LibraryThing member Michael_Godfrey
In some ways this reader feels like the mortician at a birthday gig: the reviews of Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak are almost to a person adulatory - and so, to a point, they should be. In a US world of achieverism - to coin a word - Palmer's self-confessedly Mertonesque call to the journey and the voice within (the influence of a spirituality of Inner Light) would surely be oasis in a desert landscape.

But Palmer writes for the extrovert (79). Strangely, in the ecclesiastical circles in which I move, extroversion is a minority perspective. Despite experiencing a vocation to leadership, the leaders of faith communities with whom I introspectively and all but apologetically run shoulders are predominately introverts. This may be a fundamental difference between the US and my spheres of OZ/NZ, or it may be a difference between Palmer's sphere of origin and my introspective Anglicanism/Episodecopalianism: who knows? But his world is very different to mine.

Palmer's call to the interior life therefore leave me cold. Get me out of there! Teach me instead to strive for the stars, teach me to dance, teach me to yell from the rooftop of my quivering faith! This book was not written for this wallflower faith with which I struggle day by day.

But it was written and written well for someone I am not. It may not, if I may grasp at one of the world's worst cliches, scratch where I itch, but I not despite by ego the Universal Man. It clearly touches those in a skin vastly different tonne - and yes I hear the egotism of my decrials! And, when at last I turn to the final chapter, I hear at last a voice that speaks to me
So no: not my book. But yes, a good book. But one that somehow passes this reader by - trapped in all the arrogance of that observation.
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LibraryThing member Narshkite
Astonishing. This is my field, I read a lot about vocation for work, and this is quiet simply the best book on the topic I have ever read. If the bad poetry were excised it would be perfect, but its as close as can be as is. For anyone who wants to think about their place the world, the essence of community and leadership this is a must read.… (more)
LibraryThing member trinker
This is a little gem of a book. I think it would make a wonderful gift for graduates or people in life transitions.
LibraryThing member Paul-the-well-read
The full title of the book includes the phrase, "Listening to the Voice of Vocation," which could mislead one (such as me) into thinking the book was about careers. But the book is really not about carreers, but about hearing and responding to your personal calling.. In spite of its short length, it is full of ideas and observations about connecting to our inner selves, the inner core of our being that helps give meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
An example of the kind of thinking found in this book comes from this question it poses, "Do you waste time on anger, or invest it in hope?"
The book is about growth and change, realizing that change is neither easy not fast, but instead recommends, "Changing as slowly as ripening fruit." The kind of personal change that is like ripening fruit is usually called "growth," and this book presents some excellent ideas about the change that develops only through growth.
In short, it is a wonderful and insightful read and I am very glad to have experienced it.
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LibraryThing member bohannon
Palmer takes the question of "vocation" very broadly--which I appreciate. The book speaks from a what I would characterize as a liberal Quaker perspective, and does so in the language and mannerisms of that tradition. As off-putting as that can be to someone with as conservative a background as mine, once I got past that layer, I found the substance beneath to be very insightful. This is a book that I intend to re-read, and am considering passing along to a few friends as well.

(2014 Review #11)
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