Our Deepest Calling

Cork Wellbeing Counselling

Is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find

the joy that every human being seeks — we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts

when he defines vocation as “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” Buechner’s definition starts with the self and moves toward the

needs of the world: it begins, wisely, where vocation begins–not in what the world needs (which is  every-thing), but in the nature of the human self, in what brings the

self-joy, the deep joy of knowing that we are here on earth to be the gifts that God created. Contrary to the conventions of our thinly moralistic culture,this emphasis

on gladness and self hood is not selfish. The Quaker teacher Douglas Steere was fond of  saying that the ancient human question “Who am I?” leads inevitably to the

equally important question “Whose am I?” For there is no self hood outside of  relationship. We must ask the question of self hood and answer it as honestly as we

can, no matter where it takes us. Only as we do so can we discover the community of our lives. As I learn more about the seed of true self that was planted when I

was born, I also learn more about the ecosystem in which I was planted —  the network of communal relations in which I am called to live responsively, accountably,

and joyfully with beings of every sort. Only when I know both seed and  system, self and community can I embody the great commandment to love both my

neighbour and myself.

A vision of Vocation

Parker Palmer