There was about 300 people in the audience the day I heard Sister Simone Campbell speak in Baltimore. After only a few seconds of hearing the mother superior extolling the virtues of those having seen the light of social justice, social reform and social equality, I had an overwhelming feeling and desire to stand up and chant, "Amen!" I digress, of course, I didn't. I was concerned that my hebrew school teacher might frown upon said action.
But, what was so incredible to me was the message Sister Simone brought with her that day. She didn't speak of religion, I don't think the "J" word was even mentioned. What she did talk about, however, was something we should all focus more time and energy on, as we go about our day.
Here are Sister Simone's four, 21st century virtues. See how they fit into your life:
Exercise Joy - Share joy and be joyful, no matter the circumstance. The happier and more positive you are in your actions, the more others will want to be involved with you. Even when confronted with sadness, be joyful, you too can make a difference.
Exercise (Holy) Curiosity - Talk to others about their experiences. Not everyone will be like minded and that's ok. Have an openness and curiosity about how others think. Like an umbrella, your mind works best when open.
Exercise (Sacred) Gossip - Let others know about the stories and experiences you encounter. Share the good, bad and ugly to raise awareness of what is going on in the world. Know that sometimes it's not about the issues of the day, but rather the relationships that make the issues relevant and those same relationships and networks make change happen.
Do Your Part - Individually, we cannot do it all, but we must play a part in making change happen. We are all in this together and no one has the right to sit this life out. We truly have a purpose and we must accomplish our mission of making good come to life.
Think about how these four virtues fit into your circumstances and your life. For some, these virtues will have a deeper, spiritual meaning. For others, they will help you understand situations that are common at the office and allow you to deal with them more easily. But for everyone, make these virtues your purpose and this world will be a better place to live.
I'm looking forward to Sister Simone's next visit to the area. There's a bar, a rabbi and a bear I would like her to meet.