This is my wish for you, worded so powerfully and beautifully by Parker Palmer, in his 2015 Naropa University graduation address.
“My…suggestion is simple: Be reckless when it comes to affairs of the heart.
Now, before someone thinks I’m trying to corrupt America’s youth, what I mean is fall madly in love with life! Be passionate about some part of the natural and/or human worlds, and take risks on its behalf, no matter how vulnerable they make you. No one ever died saying, “I’m so glad for the self-centered, self-serving, and self-protective life I lived.” Offer yourself to the world — your energies, your gifts, your visions, your spirit — with open-hearted generosity.
But understand that when you live this way, you will soon learn how little you know and how easy it is to fail. To grow in love and service, you must value ignorance as much as knowledge and failure as much as success. This is ironic advice on a day when we celebrate your success at passing a rigorous test of your knowledge! But clinging to what you already know is the path to an unlived life. So cultivate beginner’s mind, walk straight into your not-knowing, and take the risk of failing and falling, again and again — then getting up to learn again and again.
That’s the path to a life lived large in service of love, truth, and justice.”
– Parker Palmer
Parker Palmer is the founder of the Courage & Renewal Center in Seattle, as well as an accomplished author and scholar. And he is a mentor to me, through his words and books. May he inspire you as well!