Educate series: Embracing honesty

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It’s difficult to be honest and open sometimes. Honesty is powerful and an honest word can bring joy, relief, comfort or if used unwisely, pain. I’ve been reading and listening to some material recently that has had a significant impact on me due to the brave and honest voice of the speaker. The first source I wanted to share in today’s educate post is a book called ‘Let your life speak’ by Parker J. Palmer. Parker Palmer is a successful professor in the U.S who has written several books about teaching with integrity and authenticity. As a University lecturer, I’ve been reading his work lately as I seek to improve my teaching for the students who will join me again at St Mary’s in September. Palmer writes about his life in this book with sincerity, humility and gentleness. It’s easy to look at someone so successful and think that perhaps they haven’t ever struggled with moments in their life or career. Palmer is quick to dispel that myth. He is open and candid in his book about his struggle with depression and provides a rare and touching insight into mental illness. He also provides honest and open advice as to how you might like to support someone you know who is suffering with depression which I found to be invaluable. It’s important to remember that whilst those whom we aspire to be like may look as if they have the world sorted, the reality can sometimes be very different. I also appreciated the fact that Palmer is so candid in this book about his journey to becoming a professor – including some honest recounts in the book such as a position he was fired from as a student. We don’t normally hear those sorts of stories from people we admire do we? We are very good at ‘editing’ our lives – Facebook anyone?!

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The other resource I’d like to share with you today is a podcast on the Jess Lively blog. I’ve written posts in the past about how much I’m enjoying Jess’ podcasts and have also written about the blogger she interviews in this podcast – Kendi Skeen. So when the two came together on a project, I was excited to hear what they had to say. Kendi is very open and honest in this podcast about her struggles as a small business owner and the trials she has faced over the past few years. She shares a lot about what she has learnt from closing down a small business – although I believe she is about to reopen her store in the U.S again so I’m rooting for her! Both Kendi and Palmer are two very different personalities, yet I admire them both and appreciate their honest nature. It allows those who are listening to them to be encouraged, sympathise and to grow. Have a read or a listen and let me know what you think!

Is there anyone who has been honest with you that has helped you in some way recently?

Images via The Good Vibe, Jess Lively

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