Yesterday our meditation considered how we bring light to the world often through our work. 

Portrait of E.F. Schumacher originally posted to Wikipedia. Photograph taken by Peter Beckett.

Not just our paid work, our professions if we have them, but also through our work as parents, grandparents, elders, citizens, participants in our species’ evolution,  resisters to fierce forces that would rather see the planet burn up than tell the truth about climate change and do something about it.

Let’s consider the legal profession.  I am becoming more and more disillusioned with a large portion of the legal profession today.  They have failed to do the inner work that E. F. Schumacher urged all of us to do.  I think of how many congress people hold degrees in law but not in truth-seeking or truth telling.  I think of lawyers on the supreme court who fed us nonsense that corporations are people in their Citizen United decision that is contributing mightily to the destruction of democracy as we know it.  Do academic institutions who train professionals fail to teach values along with skills? 

Screengrab of MSNBC News Report on Mueller Report.
Photo originally posted to Flickr by Budderflyman

I am thinking of lawyer William Barr who lied for a month about Mueller’s investigation while he was forbidding anyone to have access to it and who, in complete fealty to idolatry, has surrendered his role as attorney general sworn to protect the constitution to serve one person only.  I am thinking of the lawyers who claimed in court that a president has “absolute immunity” from the law.  How can they get away with that with a straight face?

Photo of Lawyer’s license plate, originally posted to Flickr by Eli Christman

How can one respect a profession that has gone down so dark a road as that?  Is this situation among lawyers in any way morally superior to revelations about pedophile priests and the cover up thereof in the ecclesial world? 

What is missing in legal professional schools that has allowed this to happen?  Obviously, a sense of justice, morality, ethics.  Do lawyers-to-be study ethics at all?  Maybe they should be required to read Aristotle’s Ethics and Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics while they are going through law school.

Photo of monument showcasing the scales of justice, originally posted to Flickr by Michael Coghian

I am not saying that some lawyers are not in it for justice sake.  But they are few and far between and seem to be becoming an endangered species.  To find a consciousness of values and ethics among lawyers seems to be the exception these days, not the rule. 

In tomorrow’s meditation I will introduce you to a lawyer who has been trying to make a difference in law and training for law for decades. 

In the meantime I want to invite you to meditate on your own profession: How can you bring more light (and less heat) to your work in the world, whatever it be?  More wisdom therefore.

See Matthew Fox, The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time.

Banner Image: Late night at the office. Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Is it true that you bring light to the world through your work?  Meditate on that.  How does that happen?  How does it make you feel?  How can you enlarge its impact for good and the common good?

Recommended Reading

Thomas Aquinas said, “To live well is to work well,” and in this bold call for the revitalization of daily work, Fox shares his vision of a world where our personal and professional lives are celebrated in harmony–a world where the self is not sacrificed for a job but is sanctified by authentic “soul work.”

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10 thoughts on “Light and Human Work Continued”

  1. Avatar

    ”Is this situation among lawyers in any way morally superior to revelations about pedophile priests and the cover up thereof in the ecclesial world?” What a good question. The church today seems always overly concerned about sexual impropriety and “underly” concerned about ethical and other moral sins. Not to say that children aren’t hurt by sexual sins (I was) but how many millions are hurt by sins such as putting economic gain over human needs and putting Out-of- Control Capitalism over care for the one thing that sustains all life—our planet.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Michele, I couldn’t agree with you more. We are out-of-control in almost every facet of our culture. Not only the planet, but the human spirit is being ravaged. I use the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality to give me perspective and hope. Our institutions are falling apart, that’s the Via Negativa. They are slowly crumbling, which allows some space for new life, the Via Creativa, to take hold. I don’t think we are going to be able to fix our economic situation. It will need to change. (Via Transformativa) I believe it will. Its the way of the Cosmos!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Ronald,
      We are sorry you are having trouble viewing the video. I will let our tech team know. In the meantime, each of Matthew’s videos are posted on YouTUBE. Just put in the title of the day’s meditation in the browser or search box, and the video should pop right up.

      Let us know if this happens again. Sometimes its just a fluke.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear David and Sue,
      In an essay about William Barr, the New York Time, so thorough with their research, wrote that Barr is “affiliated” with Opus Dei, and yet the Opus Dei website states that “because there have been recent news accounts referring to the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr, as a member of Opus Dei, we would like to clarify that Mr. Barr is not a member of Opus Dei nor has he ever been one. Is there a difference between membership and association? We can know the former Attorney General by the focus and the fruits of his labor. “The truth is in the pudding,” as my mother would say.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

  2. Avatar

    I am also struck by the comparison of corrupt lawyers to corrupt priests and other clergy. It seems that lawyers are being taught mainly to make money, to produce billable hours, period, never mind the morality of their actions. Yet, there are also lawyers like those at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who truly work for justice, just not enough of them.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Sue,
      Oh, for the days when young people went into law to serve justice! I think it might be difficult to keep that passion in the culture of the profession today. But some manage to find organizations or positions that allow them to serve in ways that make a difference in people’s lives. Unfortunately, none of these career paths lead to the House, the Senate, or the Supreme Court.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

    2. Avatar

      Sue, It strikes me that what you said about the comparison of corrupt lawyers to corrupt priests and other clergy, also applies to corrupt doctors. There are also doctors who practice justice, “not enough of them.”

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