Life/Work Balance

Governments and corporations are not going to solve the work/life balance we need in our life. So says Nigel Marsh in his How to make work-life balance work in his May 2010 TEDx Talk. In a short ten minutes he gives us four ways to make the balance. While I like his suggestions, his two-minute story of an evening with his youngest child at the end of his talk, convinced me of the urgency of such an endeavor.

For me, poet, novelist and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, gives a much clearer picture of what I need to do:

…According to him, the good life includes sustainable agriculture, appropriate technologies, healthy rural communities, connection to place, the pleasures of good food, husbandry, good work, local economics, the miracle of life, fidelity, frugality, reverence, and the interconnectedness of life. (Wikipedia)

Not easy achievements in a 21st Century American city, but maybe, just maybe some of Berry’s ideas deserve our attention. Today a program such as The one-acre farm might just be the answer.

Why all this talk of environment, life/work balance on our Partners’ blog? The Old English word for healthy is holy. As Partners we strive for holiness. This necessarily involves all the above issues and probably some more. St. Benedict who talked about a life of prayer, study and work and St. Paul of the Cross who focused his life on keeping alive the memory of Jesus’ passion weren’t faced with the issues we are today. I believe if they were around today, these are the issues they would be preaching to us about.

Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Less is More

I believe in the “Too big to survive” theory of economics. While various articles about “Too big to fail” come up when I searched that on Google, I think the phrase originated with Colin Wright a young entrepreneur, writer, speaker, world traveler and cofounder of Asymmetrical Press. (Warning: “This link is not authorized by Yahoo”) I like it because it contrasts well with the more familiar, “Too big to fail” theory.

What do I mean by “Too big to survive”? I believe this is what Lent is all about. As Passionists we are encouraged to take a period of time each year, Lent, to determine what is really important to us and our families and communities. One way to do this, is by paring down, getting rid of the excess, and focusing on what really matters, by getting smaller, just the opposite of what seems to be the wisdom of our day: “More, more, more”.

In what I believe is an ingenious contemporary six minute articulation of what St. Francis (1181 – 1226), St. Paul of the Cross (1694 – 1775) and many more saints preached, contemporary designer and writer, Graham Hill in his March 2011 TED Talk Less stuff, more happiness, suggests that we ask ourselves “Could I do a little life editing?” He gives three great suggestions for living more fulfilled, happy lives:

  • Edit ruthlessly
  • Think small
  • Make Multifunctional

I think maybe I’ll try making these my mantra for this Lent.

Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

 

Cardinal Cupich: No Immigration Agents on Church Property Without Warrants

Thank you Cardinal Cupich. You make me proud to be part of a church and community that stands with the oppressed and marginalized.

Millennial

img_2011

via Chicago Tribune:

Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich told priests Tuesday that if federal immigration authorities knock on the doors of their parishes without a warrant, priests should turn them away and call the archdiocese’s lawyers. Catholic school principals have been told to do the same.

“If they do not have a warrant and it is not a situation that someone is in imminent danger, tell them politely they cannot come on the premises,” Cupich wrote in a letter to Chicago priests.

The directive comes a week after the Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines for enforcing President Donald Trump’s immigration orders that call for hiring thousands of additional enforcement agents and expanding the pool of immigrants who are targeted for removal. The new guidelines also authorize officers to conduct more raids in immigrant communities.

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Developing a Healthy Media Diet

I used to turn on the news when I got out of the shower in the morning and consume it with breakfast. I don’t do that anymore. Instead, after showering, I spend some time in quiet meditation thanking my creator, for the gift of a new day and and asking for guidance on how to be of service to our mother earth and those I will meet this day. That usually takes about a half hour. Then I sit down for breakfast. Sometimes I meditate before my shower giving me more time to peacefully glide into a new day.

After breakfast I head to my computer and that’s when the confusion starts. What should I do first—read Facebook, check my email, go to Twitter or do some writing? As of today, I don’t have a healthy routine or a comfortable answer to that question, and hence this post. I’m hoping your will share your experience.

Jihil Jolly in an August 20, 2014 article How to establish a media diet suggests we ask ourselves three things when consuming news:

  1. Why am I consuming this news?
  2. What is the most effective way for me to consume news?
  3. Do I want to act on this news?

These questions along with Lara Setrakian January 2017 TED Talk above: We have to resist the temptation to use fear for ratings suggests media has some responsibilities here. Lara presents three simple steps that the media need to do:

  1. Learn from people on the ground
  2. A hypocratic oath for reporters to “Do no harm:
  3. Embrace complexity

She also suggests that, realizing media’s obsession with ratings, we can play our little part in making them responsive by first, identifying those who present facts, follow them, rewarding them with the ratings they seek. At the same time, we can stop listening to fear mongers denying them the ratings they so desperately need to continue in business.

Maybe you’ve already answered these questions for yourself. If you have any suggestions of good news sources, or of answers to Ms. Jolly’s questions above, please share by commenting below.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Tell Your Story/Listen to Mine

Coming home from a political rally downtown I wondered to myself if there was any hope. Can we as a country ever come together? Can we stop our verbal attacks on each other just long enough to listen for a moment? How can we as Max Ehrmann suggests in his Desiderata “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” A possible answer came when I later watched and listened to Deeyah Khan’s April 2016 What we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids.

Deeyah has received awards for her documentary films and is the founder of Fuse, a company that gets minorities to tell their stories. Deyah’s story which she shares above is moving and truly for those of us that think in those terms, the Way of the Cross today. She also shares her discovery that the perpetrators of violence are themselves wounded persons and that if we are ever to move beyond more violence, we must learn to listen and understand.

In her TEDxExeter talk she quotes the African proverb: “If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” While Deeyah is addressing the Muslim community, she could just as well be addressing Chicago, the Catholic Church, the schools…. We must she insists learn to relate and understand each other and listen to our young.

I believe the answer to my initial question, can we ever come together is—yes. We can if we come together to tell your stories and just as important listen to others’ stories with the same compassion we hope to receive when we tell ours.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

 

Finding God in a Digital Age

Some think the printing press was revolutionary, and it was, but not anywhere as revolutionary as the Internet. I really enjoyed this post and hope you will as well.

Millennial

Michael Rossmann SJ of The Jesuit Post joined Midwest Jesuits for a Facebook Live chat on the way modern technology is affecting faith, friendship, prayer, and more. You can watch the full replay here:

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pain

O pain,  here you are again.
I should be used to you.
You visit my Dad so often,
physical,  intense pain.
But you can’t stop him from being happy and kind.
You are no match for his beautiful and sweet  disposition.
Each new day,  with the  clouds or sunshine, brings him gratitude and joy.
He is so much stronger than you.

Pain.

You visit my heart. You pierce me by hurting my Dad.
I hate you but through  you,  I become closer to God.
I offer you up for  souls,  for Dad’s soul.
Every time you visit,  I cling to the  almighty with trust and joy.

 

img_20170118_201951Lisa-Marie who is relatively new to the Partners, is our first strictly online Partner. She attended a Passionist retreat in May of 2014 where: “I was then introduced to our sorrowful Mother. I now see the sufferings of Jesus in a whole new light and want to honor Mary by meditating on her sorrows and to permanently keep Christ’s passion in my heart.