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