Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

Article excerpt

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit Parker J. Palmer. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011, 256 pages, $24.95.

The political system in the United States provides a stellar example of sharing governance when it is done well. Our founders created a blueprint for a nation whose people are involved. All the power does not rest in the hands of a few, as in other governments, but in the concept of "'We the People,' whose will is key to democracy" (p. 16). First, the three branches of government distribute power evenly so that no single branch has too much. Second, the states and the federal government have shared powers. Finally, the people are given the privilege of participating in the political process if they choose through voting, through gathering with others to discuss issues, and through their other constitutionally guaranteed rights.

However, the political process is messy and divisive, and some people, instead of finding a way to "hold the tension" (p. 14), choose not to participate. However, Parker Palmer challenges us to choose "to engage, not evade, the tension of our differences," which will allow us to "become better equipped to participate in a government, of, by, and for the people" (p. 14).

"Political life in a democracy is a nonstop flow of contradictions and conflicts" (p. 74). Many situations in our current world demand contradictory solutions- when there is war, we want both peace and justice. …

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