“THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF WORK:
THE SPLENDOR OF EVERYDAY LIFE”
A view of work that is committed to improving the world provides the opportunity to discover the brilliance of every detail, the transcendence of every act of service that forms part of our professional work, and the importance that our work gives as a service to society. Searching for beauty in everyday life is a call to rediscover what adds vigor and brightness to our ordinary lives. The splendor of everyday life is what makes us enjoy each day of work without waiting for holidays or the weekend. To bring out the grandeur of what is ordinary means taking advantage of and enjoying not only 20%, but 100% of our day.
Incontro Romano suggests a reflection about the beauty and service of work. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the foundation of Opus Dei, we would like to encourage the participants of the International Congress Incontro Romano to rediscover the beauty that encompasses the things of daily life, in particular the beauty of work. This new vision of work as a source of wonder and creativity will be especially interesting for those professionals providing personal services such as nursing, gastronomy, interior and urban designing… These professions and many others work to promote a more profound and social world, awakening people’s sensibility through the beauty of their ordinary work.
POINTS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION/DISCUSSION
WORK AND LIFE: How important is work in the life of a person? What is the purpose of work? Are we made to work, or is it just a way to survive? What is a “satisfactory job”? Can we enjoy the daily work or is it a burden? How to find a greater meaning in one’s work? What are the reasons that motivate us to work? Why is it important to have a motivation? How can work be a service to others? How to be aware of the benefits of our work to other people?
WORK AND FAMILY: How does the family influence professional development? How does education received influence the way in which work is conceived and developed? How does the family influence the impact of work on society? What virtues learned in the family are of special importance in the world of work? How does professional life affect family life? How to combine family life and work? In what way can one’s dedication to the family and the home is a form of professional work?
WORK, ANTHROPOLOGY AND ETHICS: How does work influence our personal identity and vice versa? When people work, do they take into account all the dimensions of the person (reason, will, affectivity and corporality)? What does “perfection at work” mean? How can one achieve a balance between work and family, social and personal life; avoiding burnout or workaholics? How can one achieve a balance between work and rest? Why is continual formation in one’s profession important?, how to address it? What views exist about loyalty towards the company / employer and ethical decision making at work? How to address challenges of teamwork? What does fellowship and friendship mean in the work environment?
WORK AND SOCIETY: What impact does work have on the configuration of society? How does society — including the media and public opinion — present the world of work? How is professional success understood in different cultures and societies? Do all jobs have the same importance, or are some jobs better than others? How does the culture or environment of my country influence the understanding of work and the way it is carried out? What is the attitude towards work in terms of priorities and dedication of time and resources? How does the incorporation of women influence the labor market? Why is it worthwhile to consider the specific contributions of women and men to the world of work?
Below you will find a list of books, articles and other resources that could be of value in the process of brainstorming ideas for a possible paper. They may lead you to other resources that can be useful in your research.
- Covey, S. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Doral (Florida), 2007.
- Crawford, M. Shop Class as Soulcraft: an Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York, 2009.
- De Torre, J. Work, Culture, Liberation: the Social Teaching of the Church. Manila, 1985.
- Escrivá, J. Friends of God: chapter four Working for God. Ohio, 2005
- Illanes Maestre, J.L. The Sanctification of Work: Aspects of the Teaching of the Founder of Opus Dei. New York, 2003.
- Kondo, M. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Berkeley, 2014.
- Larrey, P. Connected World: From Automated Work to Virtual Wars. London (UK), 2017.
- Malinvaud, E. Work and human fulfillment. Florida, 2003.
- Newport, C. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. New York, 2016.
- Pieper, J. Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation. San Francisco, 1990.
- Sandberg, S. Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. New York, 2013.
- Schulte, B. Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. London, 2014.
- Schwarz, F. Breaking with Tradition: Women and Work, the New Facts of Life. New York, 1993.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy. Washington DC, 1986.
- V. V. A. A. Work in the Service of the person and Society. Rome, 2003.
- V. V. A. A. Work and Education. Rome, 2003.
- Pope Francis. TED talk: Why the only future worth building includes everyone. www.ted.com, 2017.
DOCUMENTS OF THE CHURCH
- POPE FRANCIS. Encyclical letter Laudato Si. Rome, 2015.
- BENEDICT XVI. Encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate. Rome, 2009.
- JOHN PAUL II. Encyclical letter Centesimus Annus. Rome, 1991.
- JOHN PAUL II. Encyclical letter Laborem Exercens: on human work. Rome, 1981.
- LEO XIII. Encyclical letter Rerum Novarum: on the Condition of the Working Classes. Rome, 1891.
- PIUS XI. Encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno. Rome, 1931.
- SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes. Rome, 1965.