Do you want to show up in the world with more of your true values and gifts, connecting with others in authentic ways? Hear from our founder, Parker J. Palmer, in this short introduction to the vision of the Courage & Renewal approach. Parker talks about how as human beings we are born whole, integral, with no distinction between what’s going on inside of us and what’s going on outside. As adults we may ask, “Whatever happened to me? How did I lose that capacity to be here as I really am?” We have to find a way to build a bridge between our identity and integrity as adults and the work that we do in the world.
Parker Palmer’s views in the video mostly resonate with me. I agree we are all born with an innate sense of natural integrity and genuinity as we can see that babies and toddlers spontaneously express their feelings – one moment happiness, another moment anger – without inhibitions or fears, hence it can be refreshing to see their realness, innocence and guilelessness.
It is true that as we grow up in our society, we all tend to learn in schools and so on that it is not safe to be in a world that may not accept us when we are true to who we are or when we express our true feelings sometimes or else we may get marginalised. So it becomes a learned process whereby we have to tone down or not show some aspects of our identity or thoughts for fear that something bad might happen, and only present aspects of our identity and thoughts that are acceptable to the world.
I suppose to some extent, it depends on social contexts and cultures – in some contexts or cultures, it is appropriate to follow certain protocols when it comes to dressing or eating or speaking, etc, which may be different in some other contexts or cultures. But apart from these practical considerations, there is a real need for people to find and experience freedom to be ourselves, so that we can live a full life, preferably to a ripe old age, without regret that we have not been true to ourselves before.
Like what he said, there comes a point in time when a lot of people would find that living a divided life becomes a source of pain, and hence we need to find ways to build a bridge between our identity and integrity, so that regardless of our vocations in life, we will live a more fulfilled and satisfying life, being more confident of who we are, and accepting our joys and sorrows and our triumphs and sufferings. I believe people intuitively connect more deeply with those who are true to themselves as they can relate to and be inspired by the way they live their life authentically.