“We are whiplashed between an arrogant overestimation of ourselves and a servile underestimation of ourselves.”
Parker J. Palmer
Good morning, friends, and happy Monday to you! I sure hope you had a weekend to your liking. We all need rest and recuperation and perhaps you got that, too.
Parker Palmer is incredible. There, I said it. The man is incredible. From the first time I read him I was enamored with his depth, insight, courage and wisdom. It has been a blessing to read him for 10 years now. I encourage you to read him if you like to grow. Today’s quote is a great example.
Very little of any of our lives reaches any extreme, with one notable exception: our opinion of self. It seems we are very quick to think, like the recently passed Muhammad Ali, that we are “the greatest” or like the long underappreciated Eeyore (of Winnie the Pooh fame) that we are the worst.
Humility generally prevents any of us saying “I’m the greatest.” but enough of us feel it, and express it, in sufficient ways that there is no doubt about it. Far more common is the thought that we have no value, or are hopeless, or are meaningless. This is bread and butter work for ministers and I assure you it is not true of you. But neither is the former. We may be whipsawed between these extreme opinions of self but neither is true. We exist in the middle, with worth, meaning, purpose and yet with room to grow and improve.
As you evaluate yourself this week, for anything, take honest stock of yourself. Is your health what you want it to be? Probably not, but it’s not horrible, either. How are things at work? If you think you are irreplaceable think again, and if you think things are terrible, think again, too. Take honest stock of yourself in all ways, and with an honest assessment make plans and take steps to improve. Leave the greatest to Ali and the worst to Eeyore. You revel in the middle! And have a great week!