I was greatly blessed at work. For most of the positions I held, I was the first person to hold the position. I had the opportunity to forge new paths and ways of doing things. Yes, I had several terrible bosses that cost my health for a bit. But many more were the bosses who taught and provided opportunities for growth. Most of the time I did not feel like a functionary simply filling in my time—like the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s eerie story of the man who turned into a cockroach over night.
Given an Irish and Welsh ancestry and vast eclectic reading habits, I don’t know how I missed John O’Donohue. Jerry Colonna introduced us in his book Reunion: Leadership and the Longing to Belong.
O’Donohue seems (although I haven’t found the document to study) to be the closest to my interpretation to the German philosopher GWFHegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit. That enough was enough of an enticement. But it his capture of the Celtic spirit that captivated me.
In the fourth chapter of Anam Cara (soul friend), he discusses work. And how modern work can be soulless robbing us of imagination and creativity. (He also references an early essay of Karl Marx about the alienation of the worker in modern industrial work. One of my favorites.)
With that long introduction, I will leave you with O’Donohue’s blessing for work.
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.John O’Donohue