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Citizenship Lite Is Not Enough

Healing the Heart of Democracy Discussion Guide (p. 251)
Video with Parker J. Palmer (3:30 min.)

For many, many years, I was engaged in citizenship lite. I wasn’t doing anything detrimental to democracy. But neither was I deeply engaged with the shadowy corners of democracy, with the places where this democracy lets down people who don’t look like me, who don’t have my benefits. As the years have gone by, I’ve come to understand that citizenship lite is not enough. That those of us—and especially those of us who have the kind of privileges I do—are really called to a much deeper engagement with democracy, its future and its problems, than we may be comfortable with. (Adapted from video)

Q. How is Parker’s story as a citizen like and unlike your own? How might you engage in a more active form of citizenship? What is the risk in doing so? In not doing so?

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