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  • As a young adult, Parker Palmer, the author of Let Your Life Speak, states in his introduction that he thought of the phrase “let your life speak” as a way of mentally idealizing the world’s greatest values and striving to fulfill them, even if they were not a part of who he was. He goes on to say that one's vocation is one way of “letting your life speak.” Palmer states that vocation is Latin for “voice”. This meaning helps illustrate that the job you choose should not be determined by money or gain, but by letting your “voice” – who you are – speak through your occupation. He mentions how when we say something, we think we understand the meaning. Many times, however, it takes much thought, and sometimes years of reflecting on these concepts before we finally grasp the grandness of a thought or concept. Palmer also says that the “words we speak often contain counsel we are trying to give ourselves.” I have found this thought to be very true.

    I’ve always viewed the phrase “letting your life speak” as a way of saying “let who you are and the principles and values you live by be visible through your actions.” For example, Mother Theresa moved in among the poorest in Calcutta, India to begin a lifelong and arduous fight for the homeless, the orphaned, the hungry, the uneducated, and those with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. She let her actions speak louder than her words - living by staunch principles and letting those principles govern her actions and allowing those principles to resound first in her life and then in her legacy. There are certain values that I find my life must include and embrace daily. These are integrity, honesty, self-motivation, compassion, and encouragement. My principles are rooted in these values. Some of the principles that I strive to live by include – treating others as I would like to be treated, being true to my own principles while knowing when to share those principles or to remain quiet (sometimes even though difficult to do), striving to love everyone (although, there will be the rare one or two), never giving up/persistent within reason, and (recalling an unknown author’s poem “Work While You Work”) in everything I do always performing to the best of my ability.

    In fulfilling my commitment to "letting my life speak" I hope to leave each individual better to have known me and the world a better place." There are different things that I know I must continually do to be sure that my life speaks the values and principles that I cherish. To accomplish this at home I strive/will strive to put my family first over self; at school I am willing/will be willing to help any student I know that is struggling with courses or personal issues and to adjust my schedule to make that happen; on campus I try/will try to assist any visitors I see; in clubs I try/will try to be inclusive, inviting other students to participate; and in my community I serve/will serve through community projects such as homeless breakfasts, community choirs, Christmas in October, and Coastal Cleanup. I want my life to not be just one statement but an ongoing paragraph that epitomizes positive change in the lives of those around me and the community I live in.
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