SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
20
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom/The Transformation of Work

Text #1
"To transform one person is to begin the process of transforming many people. If our modern workplace is to become more humane, caring, and devoted to the well-being of people and less obsessed with the short-term efficiency and profit, then that larger transportation must begin one person at a time."

This is an adept observation by Richmond. Instead of making an overarching suggestion to the system as a whole, she instead suggests to the individual to make the difference. Companies and Organizations are "a sum of all the parts." These parts are us and we are the ones that dictate change since the system is a product of us. If we each individually make a concerted effort to change the way we treat work and the mentality of "dog eat dog" then we can work to create a more fair and equitable system that benefits not only us but also our peers. Those that the system disregards and leaves in the abyss can then have an opportunity to contribute and support themselves. People are not all capable of pure genius or incredible responsibility but that doesn't mean they are useless. Our society has become to results driven and too based on social status and the acquisition of material goods and money. We need to see the possibility of change and take direct action at making it happen.

Text #2
"Most human suffering and injustice has its origins in desire- desire for wealth, power, security, safety and long life."

This age old buddhist philosophy is so true and prevalent for contemporary western society. One of the shortcomings of education is that the way that our system is designed kids get educated for the sake of getting a cush job and acquiring capital. Therefore the end of the education train equals money. Kids a lot of times are not genuinely interested in the subject of their studies but rather the the money or status that the subject of their study will yield. Kids fail to follow their academic passions or beliefs in order to fit in and get a job that makes them feel elite or in line with their peers. Jobs on Wallstreet have insane demand and a surplus of qualified candidates. Meanwhile teaching jobs in inner city schools have deficit of qualified candidates and have to settle for teachers that aren't capable of the task at hand. A lot of times it takes more skills, especially people skills and makes more of an impact if one chose to be a teacher versus a corporate soldier. However, the reality is that people will choose money over passion and good will. A teacher who teaches in the nasty areas of New York City basically has to live in that nasty area. Whereas a Wall Streeter gets to live in a nice apartment in a safe nice community. This is a long standing issue that can only be changed by a systematic change led by people to reorganize the pay and social status of our jobs.

Write comment now Author: Ryan Ennis Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:13 am
20
November
2013

Blog Post #?.... The Jewelry One.

Text 1: "There is no hope of immortality through riches"

Response: This is a statement that I can truly stand by. People are so wound ip about making money in this world when we should be making a memory of ourselves. Sure, money can open up multiple paths to make us immortal, however when it comes down to it immortality takes action. To become immortal whether it be good or bad, one has to act. One has to change the world. And changing the world takes on thing and that is conviction, not money. Only through conviction and belief can anyone become immortal. I mean just look at me. I want to make money to provide a comfy life for my family, and yet I haven't made a single step forward towards making me immortal. My dad and I both want to be immortalized someday and hopefully we can accomplish this before our time runs out.

Text 2: "Can a man be king by saying, 'I am king,' without destroying his enemies, without gaining power over the whole land?"

Response: Yes, a king is only a title and once people learn that being ones best is already enough than everyone can become a king. I believe that a king can be called a king without decimating all of his enemies and gaining power over all the land. Real kings, men and women who are appointed leadership should before anything else always take care if their followers. It isn't about conquering or gaining power, it is about taking care of the people that you have been tasked to protect. It is about serving the people who believe in you, It is about fairness, that is what being a king is meant to mean.

Write comment now Author: anguyen16 Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:10 am
20
November
2013

“The Transformation of Work”- Work as a Spiritual Practice by Richmond

Actual Text 1: “When we believe that the world makes us, that it determines what we can do and cannot do, then we see ourselves as small and weak. But when we understand that we make the world- individually and together- then we become formidable and strong.” (Page 2)
Response 1: These were the first words I read from the article. It set the stage for me in regards to my thought process. I was confused at first upon reading that the world makes us. We are always told that we make the world go round but it almost seems quite the opposite here. We allow the world to control us by anxiety, insecurities, fear of failure, etc. We let the world at times take over our actions and take charge of what is next to come. Richmond says that when we allow the world to overcome us and take control we become “small and weak”. Speaking from personal experience, this is nothing but true. My anxieties make me fell this exact way. The second part of the quote is more uplifting. The moment we understand that we “make” the world, both on our own and with help from others, we are given a sense of strength and hope for the future. I am confused by what “make” means in this context…

Actual Text 2: “We are the wealthiest generation in human history, but are we the wisest? And what will happen now that everyone else in the world wants to be just like us, with our three televisions, two cars, and a personal monthly energy bill greater than the annual income per capita of some poor countries? Can the planet sustain us, or are the three-legged frogs now cropping up in the fresh-water ponds all over America one of many warning signs that it cannot?" (Page 5)
Response 2: I really enjoyed both the bluntness and discreteness of this quote. Starting with saying we are the wealthiest generation in human history was not new news for me. This has been a common theme in our course. What did strike me by surprise was that everyone in the world wants what we have. This is quite disturbing because countless individuals who do have all this stuff mentioned above are not any happier with these material objects. These objects are just objects but fill this bizarre craving that many of us have. We lust for these objects and it’s disgusting. The energy bill comment was very shocking and I almost didn’t want to believe it. The end of the quote asks the reader if the planet can sustain us and gives an analogy of a three-legged frog becoming more common in fresh-water ponds. To me this was the part of the quote that has a discrete meaning. It was alluding to the facts that if we keep consuming and flourishing in our own wealth, where will the rest of the world be? We can see clear signs of an abusive relationship with nature and there will come a time where she will not be so giving, and will become fed up. I am surprised this has not already happened…

Write comment now Authorin: Alyssa Mattocks Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:55 am
20
November
2013

The Crest- Jewel of Wisdom & Work as a Spiritual Practice Post

Actual Text #1: “Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction, but not by bathing, nor gifts, no a hundred holdings of the breath.”

Response #1: I really liked this quote because it talks about discernment, which is something that is very inherent to a Jesuit education. True reflection comes about when one takes an inward look at oneself. No corporeal things can bring about true knowledge, and it can only come from deep contemplation. I think this applies to our Fair Trade course because it requires us to discern proper and fair treatment in working environments. We must think through the decisions that we make and the moral implications of them, especially when we have the ability to make a difference in our communities or in the larger communities that we are a part of.

Actual Text #2: “The marketplace does not control us, we control the marketplace-at least to the extent that our inner values and character are stronger than the lure of advertisements and possessions. If we truly want our system of commerce and the conditions of our employment to change, then the place to start is with ourselves.”

Response #2: I thought that this was a very thought provoking statement because it is extremely accurate. Our mind controls a lot of the things that we do. If certain expectations were not created by society, we definitely would not feel inclined to do half of the things that we did. This reminded me of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s activism. He wanted change and did something about it. If we want fair wages, proper working conditions, and equality in the marketplace, then we must start incorporating those behaviors into our everyday practices. Supporting Fair Trade companies and working for Fair Trade companies is a great way to begin the change.

Write comment now Authorin: mmcguire Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:35 am
20
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom/ The Transformation of Work

Actual Text: "There is no hope for immortality through riches."

Response: This part, taken from the scriptures caught my eye because it is a reality that I try to remember daily. Ever since I was young my parents stressed the need to give what you can and never be greedy; simply because at the end of the day, you can't take your riches, or treasures with you. It also makes me think about the ancient Egyptians and how they actually would bury the pharaohs in tombs with their treasures for the journey to the afterlife. But I think the riches that lead to immortality are those within the spirit and soul that come from the Freedom discussed in this passage.

Actual Text reading 2 "And what will happen now that everyone else in the world wants to be just like us, with our three televisions, two cars, and a personal monthly energy bill greater than the annual income per capita of some poor countries? Can the planet sustain us, or are the three-legged frogs now cropping up in fresh water ponds all over America one of many warning signs that it cannot?"

Response: This text reminded me of the stuff video we watched in regards to the statistic that we would need three to five more worlds if everyone produced like America. Therefore, like the odd three legged frogs and other elements like global warming and an absurd rise in natural catastrophe's I do not think this world can support anymore than it is now. And even at the rate it is currently producing waste it may not last much longer so to think of others copying this trend of wastefulness is horrifying.

Write comment now Authorin: JBlasl Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:17 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Actual Text 1: “Therefore let the wise one strive after Freedom, giving up all longing for sensual self indulgence; approaching the good, great Teacher (the Higher Self), with soul intent on the object of the training. (Page 2)
Response 1: This part of the article really sets the stage for the feel of what the rest of the reading will be about. It discusses how it is the wise men that strive after Freedom. It is discussed how rites cannot lead to Freedom, as the scripture says, “There is no hope of immortality through riches”. I found this all to be increasingly interesting. Seeing as we live in such a world that is full of rites and riches, does this mean we are far from being wise? It almost seems to me that our 21st century lifestyle is doing the exact opposite of striving after Freedom. After reading this I felt as though we are under the impression that wise men/women surround us but this gave me a dismal outlook. It seems as though the majority strive after self-indulgence and are far from being wise or free.

Actual Text 2: “A net of words is a great forest where the fancy wanders; therefore the reality of the Self is to be strenuously learned from the knower of that reality.” (Page 6)
Response 2: At first this quote was hard for me to understand. After reading it a few times I began to wrap my mind around this concept. This is the Master answering the pupil’s questions. The pupil asks a series of questions regarding the connection between the self and not-self. “What causes it? And how can one be free?...What is not-Self and what is the Higher self? And how can one discern between them?” The “fancy wanders” to me are representative of the rich with their technology that distracts them from reality. Our reality is however we wish to perceive it. There is a hint of anxiety in the second half of the quote. There is almost a sense of urgency to find our reality and ourselves but should there be? We have to use the wise to help us ground ourselves in reality and open our eyes to ourselves.

Write comment now Authorin: Alyssa Mattocks Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:41 am
20
November
2013

Jewelcrest of Wisdom-McGinley

Text 1: Chief among the, causes of Freedom is devotion, the intentness of the soul on its own nature. Or devotion may be called intentness on the reality of the Self

Response 1:
I interpreted this text as expressing the importance of practicing good habits. Ultimately what will bring you closer to your actual self and your highest self is living in ways that will bring about wisdom. Through the practices of freedom, passion, restfulness, and self control one will be able to find their devotion of their true self true self. There true self is this concept of wisdom, which will form as a guide for your own life. Respecting the teacher and trusting your faith are an important aspect of finding your own wisdom. All of these are help find the "reality of self".

Text 2:
"Sprinkle me with thy nectar voice that brings the joy of eternal bliss, pure and cooling, falling on me as from a cup, like the joy of inspiration; for I am burnt by the hot, scorching flames of the world's fire."

Response 2:
This part of the text is one of my favorite lines. I think this is because it is something that I can relate to. I interpreted this as someone yearning for good, positive vibes. There is so much that is bad in the world, so much bad news. Sometimes people need to be "showered" with something good in order to be inspired. The reoccurring themes of violence and injustice sometimes play a large factor into our own self. In order to reach our full potential sometimes we need to be exposed, or enlightened to the good in the world.

Write comment now Authorin: Madeline McGinley Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:26 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (Jeff)

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's."

Response 1: I read this line several times before I could fully understand it. I can agree with this because I think there are things in life that have to be learned alone and through experiences not by a teacher. There are many things a teacher can teach you, but only you can learn the truth about yourself and the world around you.

Text 2: "The Eternal is real, the fleeting world is unreal;--this is that Discernment between things lasting and unlasting."

Response 2: I think this directly relates to the materialism we always talk about in class. Things that are eternal like love, faith, and friendship are lasting and "real" they are what we need in life. But things like money, goods, and status is fleeting and unlasting, it is not necessary for enlightenment.

Write comment now Author: Jeff Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:25 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's"

Response 1: Immediately when I read this quote, I thought of our class. Our grades are not determined by tests or essays or typical ways that a teacher grades a student, but by our ability to speak on the topic and think critically and thoughtfully. I have learned so much in our class not only from of our weekly readings, but more importantly from the insights of others in class. A grade cannot be truly put on what someone learns, it is unquantifiable. This quote parallels the theory behind our midterm and final exam because it promotes that we learn for our own good and personal growth, not just for the grade our teacher gives us. When we stop worrying about our grade, essentially being judged by others, that is when we learn the most.

Text 2: "Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction, but not by bathing, nor gifts, nor a hundred holdings of the breath. Success demands first ripeness; questions of time and place are subsidiary."

Response 2: I particularly resonate with this ideology because I whole-heartedly believe in the power of spiritual development and analysis. One of my favorite quotes by Socrates is "the unexamined life is not worth living", and I believe that as a young adult, I am in a great period of discernment. I feel I will always be in some sort of state of discernment because of our lives' uncertainty. Personally I find examining my life on a regular basis helps me find a greater meaning behind why I do what I do, the people in my life, etc. Self-examination is one of the most important parts of becoming dura personalis, or the whole person.

Write comment now Authorin: lmcgowan2 Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:46 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Actual Text 1
"Let the seeker after self-knowledge find the Teacher (the Higher Self), full of kindness and knowledge of the Eternal."

Response 1
This piece of text really stood out to me because in order to understand and figure out its meaning, I had to re-read it a couple times. My interpretation of this quote is that in order to figure out who we are and the type of person we want to be, it is necessary to examine your life at its current state. To me, the Higher Self signifies the best person we can be and fulfilling our ultimate potential. In order to live a life we are proud of we must root our knowledge in the fundamentals of kindness and compassion for others. When we align our current state of mind with our ultimate potential then we will be united with our Higher Self.


Text2
"The Eternal is real, the fleeting world is unreal;--this is that Discernment between things lasting and unlasting"

Response2
This quote in the reading caught my attention because I think it is pertinent in understanding the difference between things that are actually important in life and things that just seem important. The word "fleeting" could be used to show that material items are just here for the moment and will not last. However, things like love for our family and friends will always be eternal and will stay with us. This life on Earth is not permanent and when we eventually move on to an afterlife, we must hold onto the things that will last and have a deeper meaning to our lives.

Write comment now Authorin: Alexa Mancuso Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:29 am
19
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (Doyle)

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's."

Response 1: This quote spoke to me as I believe it pertains to the current educational system. Beginning at a young age, we are structured to adhere to what the teacher says and to treat this person like he or she is some ethereal creature that is not of Earth. A teacher is simply someone who has received a certification to teach after passing a certain number of classes and taken a certain number of qualifying tests. Just like our teachers took tests from their teachers, we take tests given by our teachers. What I am trying to do here is display how level the playing field actually is. I believe that a student's ability to gain insight and be truly educated is inhibited by the instilled fear that the student has of their "superior" instructor in the front of the class behind the computer, which they use to show powerpoint slides that they use for an inordinate amount of years in a row because it is convenient. The most important things I have learned in life have been on my own merit and through my own experiences. That is the truest form of education.

Text 2: "Sickness is not cured by saying 'Medicine,' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the Eternal without discerning the Eternal."

Response 2: This quote pertains to truth and how many people are facades in the face of it. Anyone can go to Church on Sunday and volunteer at a soup kitchen once in their life. We can sing the hymns in mass, but that will get us nowhere. In order to cure us of sickness or of our sins, we must put into practice the words of the hymns into everyday life. I like to think of Church as a report card. Sunday after Church until next Sunday's mass is our proverbial "work week," whereby we must practice the teachings that we sing at mass. Each Sunday we can reflect on the past week and discern how we can improve time after time until we achieve true salvation.

Write comment now Author: Rdoyle5 Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:22 pm
19
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (John Treseler)

Fact 1
But when these two-- Dispassion and longing for Freedom-- are lacking, then Restfulness and other graces are a mere appearance, like water in a desert.

Reflection 1
This line stood out to me, especially after the explanation of dispassion. Early it is described at a perpetual willingness to give up all sensual self-indulgences. This is something preached commonly, but in this reading it came differently. Here I saw it in relation so many at Fordham, myself included. I realized that even yesterday, how many times my friends, teachers and myself fell victim to falling for indulgences for ourselves. Even as I sit here now I don't know that I am pursuing dispassion, but it is now more clear. It is hard to describe the way that I now understand dispassion, but the few lines on the second and third page articulated in a way that I was able to relate it to my life and those around me.

Fact 2
Sickness is not cured by saying 'medicine' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the eternal without discerning the eternal.

Response 2
This passage on how to find and achieve the eternal is something well put. The analogy between just saying medicine and taking it works very well, although I would talk it a step further. I would say that if there was sick and talked about taking medicine it does nothing, just as talking about being a better person and finding your true self. You must take the medicine as you must act in a way to find your better self.

Write comment now Author: jtreseler1 Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:43 pm
19
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom

Text 1: "Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction, but not by bathing, nor gifts, nor a hundred holdings of the breath. Success demands first ripeness; questions of time and place are subsidiary."

Response 1: I took this as having to work for what you want. It's like trying to clarify your ultimate concern through the best ways possible and not by taking the easy way out. Taking time to do tasks will help to gain the knowledge that everyone desires. However, I don't think the knowledge referred to here is book smarts, rather its what you know about life and ultimately about God because anyone could examine enough material to have knowledge. Life, on the other hand, takes experiences that need to be examined and clearly seen before coming to a conclusion about it.

Like knowledge success does not come easily. It too needs to be worked for and not mediocrity, rather all energy and time must be consumed. When success arrives is a different matter because there is no set time or place for when it can happen.

Relating this to fair trades, I guess it can mean that fair trades may be slow right now, but in the long run it will pay off and benefit those involved in it. The Artisans currently involved would be better off than they are now if they stay honest and keep the morals they have. From what I got out of this was knowledge is key but it takes a while before all knowledge can be acquired. The same applies with fair trades; if everyone knew about it they'd be more likely to contribute, but not everyone knows what fair trades is that is why it is still not rising as fast as it can.

Text 2: "The raising of the mind above external things; that is true Withdrawal."

Response 2: I think people are too obsessed with material objects these days that they can't see past that. Happiness in today's society for a lot of people derive from getting a good job and money and then consuming high-end products. I compare it with being stuck underwater and not being able to break free. Of course society is to blame for this because that's where the trends start. If more community service and volunteering could be done a change could occur in society. People would be able to "rise above the water" because they'd see what's truly happening and make a difference. Money would be consumed in a better way - donating, for example- instead of buying a material object that would last only temporarily. In contrast, helping someone would last a much longer time on the inside.

Write comment now Authorin: fanezaj Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:06 pm
19
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom

Jewelcrest of Wisdom, Quote 1: "Sickness is not cured by saying 'Medicine,' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the Eternal without discerning the Eternal.”

This quote really stood out to me, because it addresses paying lip-service versus taking something in and believing in it. This applies to spirituality, obviously in this context, but it also applies to many other areas of life. It is easy to say you want something, or that you intend to do something, but to find real success, you have to take the idea into yourself fully.

Quote 2: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's. / The moon's form must be seen by one's own eyes; it can never be known through the eyes of another.”

This is a great quote, especially as some of us are graduating soon… That’s not really the intent of the passage, but I think it’s especially fitting now that we’ve spent so much time being told what the world will hold for us in the future. As everyone packs up and heads into the world described by everyone (teachers, peers, friends) they will have to see the world and make decisions for themselves.

Write comment now Authorin: Stacie Schwartz Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:23 am
19
November
2013

The Crest Jewel of Wisdom

"Sons and kin can pay a father's debts, but none but a man's self can set him free."
A man's freedom or wisdom rely on himself and his own actions; people cannot rely on others to free themselves of anything more than material goods. Through freeing oneself of non materialistic debts and burdens, people are more able to act wisely and avoid attaining more material burdens.


"Through information, digging, and casting aside the stones, a treasure may be found, but not by calling it to come forth."
I liked this particular phrase because it talks about how good things don't come easily. If one wants to make something, a treasure for example, one has to work for it, not simply hope for it to happen and sit back waiting for the world to bring treasures forward. Most things worthwhile require hard work and dedication as well as goal setting and dreaming, but by simply dreaming, one cannot really achieve anything of any value or importance.

Write comment now Authorin: Natilombana Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:12 am
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