Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Workplaces Celebrate

On my theology blog, I've been thinking about charitable giving, not only of money, but also time.  How would the world change if we donated 10% of our time to charitable and justice activities?

I've also been thinking about careers.  If I could reshape my life to look any way I wanted, what would a day in the life of ideal self be?  A week?  A year?  More on that later, as I ponder more.  But I'll begin with a question that pokes me again and again.

What would it be like to work for an organization that encouraged me to do social justice work?  I have been known to sneak away from work to serve dinner to homeless men. I return to my office refreshed and renewed in a way that I'm not if I sneak away to have dinner with a friend.

What if I didn't have to sneak away?  What if charitable work was celebrated?

So far, I've been moderately supported in my artistic endeavors at work.  There is no money for travel, but so far, I've been allowed to use computer resources:  composing at my work desk, preparing packets of poems for submissions, that kind of thing.

My friends and I do wonder what would happen if something we composed at work went on to earn us fabulous wealth, would the company come after us for some of the money?

You laugh, I know, at the idea of a poet earning anything.  But I'm putting together a memoir.  What if I become the next Kathleen Norris or that woman who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, to make this analogy work better.  Would my for-profit college want some of my profits?

I shall worry about that day when it comes.  In the meantime, I'll continue to write and continue to look for ways to infuse writing, along with my other values, into my work day.  I'll continue to remind myself to feel gratitude that I'm allowed to do that.  My workplace is not so brutal that I can't write a poem or rearrange my schedule so that I'm free to go off to feed homeless men.

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