Vocation comes from from the Christian tradition and refers to an internal calling or summons to do holy work. A traditional and corollary assumption is that neary everybody has vocation whether they know it or not. Philosopher Sam Keen wrote: A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls.
One of the often overlooked aspects of vocation is that although we think of the work we do as shaping or changing the world in some way, in reality the world changes us in equal measure through the interaction. Or, as Rainer Maria Rilke wrote; In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.
Some questions for individual and group reflection:
-Given the unique set of skills and limitations you possess, what were you born to do or to be?
-As a teenager or young adult, what did want to learn when you started working?
-What did you learn in place of what you wanted to know?
-If given the task, what and how would you teach a child about work and vocation?
-Do you consider anything you currently do as “Holy work?”
-What, very specifically, do you sell when you go to work?
-What wouldn't you sell under any circumstances?