The Way essay

Submitted By Diamonds384
Words: 1050
Pages: 5

The chapter from Parker Palmer’s book, for me, is not an easy read. I believe he’s writing about discovering his true self. He says that in the earlier part of his life he modeled his life on heroes such as Rosa Parks, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther king, Jr. These were people who embodied ideals by which he wanted to live. Later in life he began to realize that he was mimicking the lives of these heroes but he wasn’t living faithful to his true self. He really wasn’t discovering his true self. He was not paying attention to his heart.
He said that for him that discovery was harder than trying to live his life by outside standards and ideals. It was harder than mimicking the lives of people who were heroes to him. He had to unlearn many of the assumptions he made about himself. I like Palmer’s honesty. He doesn’t present himself as an expert, a success who has it all together. He tells us that for years he made the mistake of living out some ideal life rather than discover who he is and living faithfully to the truth of his own being.
He talks of this type of imitating others as ego driven. He puts it this way, “Behind this understanding of vocation is a truth that the ego does not want to hear because it threatens the ego’s turf: everyone has a life that is different than the “I” of daily consciousness, a life that is trying to live through the “I” who is its vessel. This is what the poet knows and what every wisdom tradition teaches: there is a great gulf between the way my ego wants to identify me, with its protective masks and self serving fictions, and my true self.”
I think there’s a connection here with Tom Avery the main character in the movie “The Way” Early in the movie Tom takes his son, Daniel, to the airport. Daniel is about to go on a pilgrimage. Tom thinks Daniel is wasting time and shirking responsibilities. On the drive to the airport Tom tells Daniel that he needs to become more responsible. I think he wants Daniel to be like him. Tom is a rich, successful Dentist. I think he wants Daniel to settle down, have a job, and make an acceptable living like most people. I think Tom wants Daniel to have a status that will earn him social respect.
Parker Palmer says that he was in his 30’s when he began to make the discovery that something was disturbing to him about how he was living his life. He goes on to say he was in his 50’s when he began to really get a true sense of who he was. I am seventeen. A lot of what I am reading here is a little confusing to me. I am only on the cusp of becoming an adult. I’m not sure what he means but I think he’s saying we have to be real and not phony. In this school, many of my classmates are trying to get into important, well known universities. I want to go to beauty school. I think I am following my heart. I think many of my classmates are under a lot of pressure to get into good schools after graduation. My parents tell me that they don’t care if I go to college or not. They want me to do what I think has meaning to me as long as I am doing something with my life. Maybe they are trying to tell me to listen to my heart. I’m just not sure what my heart is telling me. But I guess if it took Parker Palmer all those years to figure things out then it will take time for me too.
Parker Palmer says that this road to finding your true self is like a difficult journey. He speaks of pilgrimage. It is like in the movie The Way which is a story about a pilgrimage. When Daniel