• March 17, 2009

Business and Compassion, conference led by Rev. Thierry de Roucy

ICCC Opening Day, September 2007.

Here are some extracts from the con­fer­ence held by Rev. Thierry de Roucy on March 5, 2009, in Manhattan. Work cer­tainly is one of the most fun­da­mental dimen­sions of the human being on earth, this dis­cus­sion under­lined the fact that it is also a priv­i­leged place to live Compassion.

“We must be aware that every detail of our life is valu­able, every minute we live is pre­cious: studies, hol­i­days, a train trip, a family day, a day at work... we must live each of them fully. Work rep­re­sents such an impor­tant part of our lives! This time should cer­tainly not be wasted.»

Work is where we experience difficulties:

” In quan­ti­ta­tive terms, it is hard to find the right bal­ance between working too much and not working at all. As to the quality of our job, we barely find a job that com­pletely sat­is­fies us, that entirely cor­re­sponds to who I am."

“Lead a healthy way of life, find the bal­ance between the work of our mind and the work of our hands are real chal­lenges. In the jewish tra­di­tion, rabbis did not only preach and advo­cate in syn­a­gogues, they also led manual activ­i­ties. In fact, working with our hands is a fun­da­mental ability of our human nature.”

“Understand my col­league is not an easy task either. Hence, when we work, we dis­cover our limits in terms of love and charity. It is always tough to live with people we have not chosen. On the other hand, we may not adopt a fair judge­ment on our fel­lows. We are easily tempted to resent injus­tice when it comes to bonuses, salaries, pro­mo­tions...”

“Eventually, it is hard to be equally enthu­si­astic in the var­ious tasks we must accom­plish. We are either exces­sively stim­u­lated by the chal­lenge or very bored by the request from a supe­rior. ”

A few fundamental statements on Work:

"Work could be every­thing, every ges­ture that is fer­tile and fruitful. The woman giving birth to her child is working (One pre­cisely uses the word “labour” to describe the delivery)."

“Every work is valu­able. The quality of the work should be assessed regarding the fact that it is accom­plished by a Human being rather than regarding its imme­diate rentability. In this sense, every work is digne and respect-worthy.”

“Our work is a pic­ture of our­selves, a kind of auto­por­trait that shows us our qual­i­ties and defects, our great­ness and limits.”

Work is where we achieve our human nature

“When working, one reveals ons­e­self and sub­se­quently, achieves one­self as a human being. Thus, looking for a job is already working as it con­sists in searching in which fields one could make a dif­fer­ence, one could expe­ri­ence ones qual­i­ties and defects. A man does not only trans­forms the nature when he works, he also trans­forms one­self and achieves thus his human nature. Work is a per­ma­nent teaching on who we are, an always renewed dis­covery of our humanity.”

“Work is a priv­i­leged place to live Compassion as we expe­ri­ence a real prox­imity with the other one.
Because work some­times turns out to be incred­ibly painful and tough, our mis­sion as workers becomes a Mission of con­so­la­tion towards the most wounded, the most broken among our col­leagues. We can tes­tify that their work, that their pres­ence is mean­ingful and that someone cares.”

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