Summary of On the Brink of Everything

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On the Brink of Everything book summary
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Rating

8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


Recommendation

Now approaching 80, best-selling author Parker J. Palmer explores and wrestles with the recurring themes of his life: the importance of engaging with life itself and the world; connecting with younger generations; life as a writer; the quest to find meaning; and the acceptance of yourself and others. This collection of essays, reflections and poems addresses “grace, gravity and getting old.” A longtime community activist who espouses forgiveness and nonviolence, Palmer calls himself an “angry Quaker.” He describes with heartfelt emotion his disappointment with the United States’ current political leadership. Some readers might object to his interjection of politics into philosophy; others will relate to his dilemma – and will recognize it as part of Palmer’s insistence that a full life means involving yourself in the hard realities. getAbstract recommends Palmer’s moving, insightful collection to spiritual leaders; anyone yearning to live a more fulfilled, aware life; and those seeking a mentor, guide or companion on their life’s journey.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What approaches will help you age contemplatively,
  • What life teaches as you travel through decades and
  • What lessons Parker J. Palmer culled from his lifelong spiritual journey.
 

About the Author

Best-selling author, educator and activist Parker J. Palmer writes poems and essays and has written 10 books, including Promise of Paradox and Let Your Life Speak.

 

Summary

A Panoramic View

In the later decades of your life, you stand “on the brink of everything,” with a panoramic view of the days gone by and of the dwindling time ahead. Shedding the weight of big projects and responsibilities frees you to enjoy the simple things: a stimulating conversation, a contemplative walk or a beautiful sunrise. You may not be able to do everything you did when you were younger, but your life experience makes each activity richer and more meaningful.


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