The Work of the People

JAN 06, 2015 - Visual Epistles

Choosing Life

Every moment of every day, we are making choices that are either “life-giving” or “death dealing.” Sociologist, Parker Palmer, talks about how we might learn to distinguish between the two and how to life a life that is more fulfilling and meaningful. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. This video starts with the question, “How do you choose life?” Palmer responds, “By asking first a simple question: Is this or that life-giving for me? Does it energize me? Does it bring me more at home in my own skin and more at home on the face of the earth? Does it evoke my gifts? Does open my eyes to the many gifts that are around me and to my opportunities to serve? Is it up building of community and of hope and possibility? Or is it death dealing?” How might you answer these questions? What actions and/or ways of living have been “life-giving” to you? How might you spend more time in “life-giving” activities? What has been “death-dealing” for you?
  2. Palmer then follows up by saying, “Then, I think, you surround yourself with people who understand the difference between what’s life-giving and death-dealing. This is not something someone can do for one’s self.” How can we surround ourselves with people who understand the difference between what is life-giving and what is death-dealing? Who might be some of those people in your life? Why can we not handle the responsibility of discerning the difference ourselves, i.e. why do we need community?
  3. How might our vocations contribute to those things that are death-dealing? What are some of the difficulties in moving out of careers that are death-dealing for us?
  4. How might we learn to find our identities outside of our careers?
  5. What might be other ways in which we can learn how to enter into a life that is fulfilling?
Written by Phuc Lou

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