Connecting Through Ritual

Mushka, my indoor/outdoor cat loves ritual. She wakes me up each morning long before I’m ready to face the day insisting that it’s time for her to go out. Each weekday afternoon she greets me on my return home from dining with friends for lunch at Golden Diners. Of course, she’s been napping while I’ve been away and now, for Mushka, it’s time to play. Despite the fact that I’m feeling the need for my nap she relentlessly pushes her agenda, play. She wins, we play, and then I nap with her on my lap.

Baya Voce in her October 2016 TEDx Talk, The Simple Cure for Loneliness quotes Jim Carrey who said:  “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

Then she tells us the answer to the question: “What do we really need?” What we really need says Baya is an anchor of connection and that anchor is ritual. She shares her anchors of connection and for me at least, convincingly demonstrates her case.

There’s a problem that Baya does not directly address. Some rituals are not life giving. In fact some, like addiction rob our lives from us. She does not tell us how to distinguish one from the other although she gives us a hint to healthy ones with the rituals she shares—meetings and meals with friends and family on a regular basis.

Of course there are other rituals we can adopt to build connections. We can attend regular meetings with our local communities to address issues and to take concerted effort to make our world a better place by doing our little part. We can help out by caring for grandchildren while their parents are at work. Of course there’s our work lives, church meeting and rituals. Putting all these together and I believe we’re on the way to a connected and life-giving world for ourselves as well as for all those around us.

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