Reply from S. Sauve (on the subject of spirituality in the workplace)
(from Ottawa, Canada, Museum of Nature, Human Resources)
(French is my first language -- please be patient with me!)
>From my perspective, spirituality is difficult to address because at some
point in time western civilization seemed to come to an agreement at we
should not mix religion, science and politics - that the powers and
knowledge of each sphere of influence was to remain separate from the
other, thus protecting territories as it were. We have all seen how
blending these elements can be dangerous and much abused/corrupted, so we
have come to believe that this combination should be discouraged.
I nevertheless believe that the basic nature of man is to know and to love
God (whatever you conceive He/She/It to be) and that my path is ultimately
to KNOW (thus to learn everything about who I am, how the universe works,
how I can meld what is outside of me with what is within, ad infinitum)
and to LOVE (how to create unity, harmony, basically applying virtues to
improve the quality of my life and of those that I touch/influence).
In this context, the basic tenet is that learning and evolving are at the
root of our reason for living and cannot be dissociated from anything we
experience. I have found that in this optique it is not a matter of how
much time I spend on each one of these elements, but rather how well I
manage to integrate each them in all areas of my life so that I may
continue to evolve (when I am at a spiritual gathering I do not leave
science behind, and when I am at a meeting at the office, I do not leave
spiritual beliefs and practices behind.)
I have found it very encouraging in recent years to see that the business
world is struggling with concepts like team building (creating unity),
systemic approaches (interconnectedness), transformation change models
(ways of overcoming fears in our efforts to master courage, etc.), what
leadership means (addressing so many virtues like integrity,
trustworthyness, excellence, service) etc. We hesitate to link it with
spirituality, but I think the roots are there.
I believe that humankind is just now coming to the age of maturity. In
its childhood the emphasis was on dependence, in its adolescence it has
been on independence, and we are beginning to struggle with the concepts
of interdependence, an important sign of maturity. It is the first time
in history that humanity can truly begin to address the issues of unity
and interdependence as a species, what with the possibility of forums such
as these and world travel made easy and accessible for all.
We are an evolving species, and a transition such as the one I believe
humanity to be going through at this time (the passing from adolescence to
maturity), as we all know is a difficult and treaturous one, albeit rich
in its potential for growth and heightened consciousness. This type of
passing for most of us is turbulent and filled with questions and
insecurities - why should it be any different for us on a larger scale?
I think forums like these are important because they ask questions, look
for answers, try to understand, make sense of and address concepts that
often seem beyond each separate individual's grasp - it becomes an organic
process with unlimited potential for growth and learning - what a
In what feels like very small steps I try to introduce/incorprorate
concepts such as these in training at the Museum (as someone else pointed
out, people change slowly). I welcome any input as to practical ways that
I could assist our employees/management in understanding and integrating
the shift from dependence/independence to interdependence.
For what has been, thanks! For what shall be - yes!
---- begin quoted msg ------
Subject: Disappointment -- No soul? LO11790
Date: Friday, January 10, 1997 11:08AM
...snip by your host...
To your list of reasons why it is so difficult to discuss spirituality let
me add a point that often comes up in my workshops on productivity: I
would claim that balance in one's life is not a matter of time spent in
financial, interpersonal, physical, mental, or spiritual development. To
equate the amount of time spent with the results achieved is just silly.
Yet in the American culture at least, many of us wind up doing just that -
spending more time on something in an attempt to change it. This is
particularly damaging to our perception of self because few people can
actually document much time spent meeting spiritual needs. As a result we
look for "time oriented" ways to fix this problem which often leads us
away from meaningful discussion.
---- end of quoted msg ----
"Sauve, Suzanne" <SSAUVE@mus-nature.ca>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>