Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Work, "Giving Back," and a Saint

This caught my eye on Monday: "What do you feel is an appropriate balance between being successful financially and the need to serve others by giving back?"1

My guess is that sirmore101 made the assumption, which I think is common in America, that "work" is what you do for money: and "giving back" is what you do by donating money or doing volunteer work.

Giving money and time to worthy causes is a good idea. The Catholic Church approves of Almsgiving and other works of mercy. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2447) But I think that "giving back" isn't limited to what we do when we're not earning money.

Here's what I wrote in that discussion thread:
'What do I feel is an appropriate balance between being successful financially and the need to serve others by giving back?'

Ideally, becoming insanely rich by providing good-enough products and/or services at a price that's low enough for just about anybody.

I don't have the skills it takes to do that, so I waited until the family had enough wealth, by our modest standards, to get by - and now have started 'giving back' by writing and other creative outlets.

Actually, though, I've been 'giving back' all along: helping customers discover what product they wanted or needed and showing it to them - chopping the greens off beets so that a laboratory could analyze them, and ultimately so that hundreds of thousands of people could purchase sugar - operating broadcast equipment and chatting a little so that people would have something to listen to in the late hours - babysitting a computer so that folks who worked during the day would get their paychecks - and so it goes.

I've never been a 'mere' anything - and neither has anyone else, if we think about it.

Now, there are many who feel that they're doing something worthless; or not being appreciated; or otherwise dissatisfied. But that's another topic.
(My comment of "Elaborate please...?")
From a Catholic point of view, I don't think there's a divide between "work" and "giving back." Note, though, that I'm speaking with the full authority of some guy with a blog. I've written about that before.

American bishops have said, about the dignity of work:
"...Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. ..."
"The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers"
Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Then there's Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower. She's the youngest Doctor of the Church - and got recognized as a Saint partly because she did "servile" work.

It wasn't what she did that was so special, it was why she did it:
"...She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others...."
("St. Therese and Her Little Way," Society of the Little Flower (www.littleflower.org))
Sounds like a good idea to me.

Sort-of-related posts:More:BlogCatalog discussion thread:The Magisterium and me:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Missing a one letter word: "I don't think there's divide"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

Thanks!

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More

Advertisement

Unique, innovative candles


Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.