SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
19
November
2013

Jewelcrest of Wisdom

Actual Text #1:

A steady intentness of the mind on its goal;--this is Restfulness.

Response #1:

To me, this quote meant that we all have goals that we set for ourselves but in order to attain them and full appreciate the achievement we must be able to be patience. We have to take a step back and rest/reflect on what we want. We are constantly working and busy with the events of every day life but our mind cannot full reach its goal without taking time to rest now and then.


Actual Text #2:

An honest confidence in the teaching and the Teacher;--this is that Faith by which the treasure is gained.

Response #2:

Transparency is key when teaching. If students can see that a professor is truthful in what they are trying to teach their students, then the class will have more faith in attain greater understanding of the course. Treasure is only gained when we have the ability to expand our minds pass the actual text we are reading. Confidence is learning more comes from an honest teacher and eager students in an open and effective learning atmosphere.

Write comment now Authorin: sgostiguy Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:44 am
19
November
2013

Blog #10 – 11/19/13

First Steps on the Path (The Jewelcrest of Wisdom)

Text 1:

“Health is gained by the sick who follow the path of healing: health does not come through the acts of others.”

Response 1:

What I got out of this quote is basically that we cannot expect others or ask others to heal us as people. It is our desire to be better and our devotion to be better that will make us better people. Becoming a better person isn’t done by others because others cannot have that craving inside of them for us to be better like is required inside of our own hearts.

Text 2:

“Through information, digging, and casting aside the stones, a treasure may be found, but not by calling it to come forth.”

Response 2:

This quote is basically saying that it is not without hard work that one finds success. When I read the “calling it to come forth” part, it made me think of how many students I encounter, sometimes including myself, just expect things to happen for them. They expect to get good grades, acquire the one internship that they apply for, and to eventually make plenty of money. These things don’t just happen and they didn’t happen for those people in our lives that we look up to and want to be like. It is important that we don’t solely assess the outcome of hard work but instead understand the process.

Write comment now Authorin: ninajanel Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:33 am
19
November
2013

Blog #11 – 11/19/13

The Transformation of Work (Work as a Spiritual Practice)

Text 1:

“It is not that I don’t want to see organizations change, but I’m not sure how to do it in a way that lasts.”

Response 1:

I think this is something that we have been struggling with as a class; I know it’s something that I’ve personally been struggling with. Through sharing our midterms as well as the discussions we have (especially including our first trip to Rodrigues), we definitely all have a common goal. We all want to see change and recognize that the current structure of our economy and the world’s economy isn’t producing fair results worldwide. However, is fair trade the answer? I think that question is still unanswered. Is fair trade currently working? It seems as though it is. Is fair trade a long term and sustainable solution? I don’t know. How do we find answers?

Text 2:

“Another problem with capitalism is that while it rewards success, it does not protect against failure. In fact, the nature of the game is that for there to be winners, there must be losers.”

Response 2:

As someone who has grown up as an athlete and just an overly competitive human being, I am a proponent of competition. I think it breads creativity and progress. Without competition, there would be much less incentive for growth. But that’s where my thinking comes to a halt – I was about to say, that without growth, we would have much less. However, is that a bad thing? I am not answering the question, I am just wondering if progress that means the winners win more and the losers lose more and have less and less of a chance of ever winning again is our idea of progress? Because I am definitely a fan of winning, but I do appreciate that when I lose and start over, things go back to the beginning. In a card game or a board game or even a game of soccer, each player starts with an equal number of cards, or number of pawns, or each team starts with the same number players, usually with comparable talents and abilities. If you lose a game of spades, you shuffle and start again. The rules don’t include you getting all of the bad cards automatically. If you lose a game of chess, you still start with your queen on the board. If you lose a game of soccer, the score still starts at 0-0 next game. How can we have competition like this? Where losing or winning doesn’t determine the outcome of the next match?

Write comment now Authorin: ninajanel Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:13 am
13
November
2013

Building On Faith

Text: "I believe that the most valuable asset that congregations and other faith-based organizations can leverage is faith. The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it."

Response: I really liked this part of the reading because it used something intangible, such as faith, as the most valuable asset! I feel like when talking about assets a lot of people try to equate that to tangible things like buildings and such. This is a really nice way of talking about something that creates value and actually unites all on a ground level.

Text "The emphasis on relationship and community inspires the leadership to see the needs of the whole person and want to help."

Response: This is a great point! If there is a commitment to a community which is formed through a relationship then there is a deeper need to do better. There is a want to help in the best way possible because there is that foundation of a relationship. This, in my opinion is essential to a successful change in any area of life. If there is no relationship, there is no real commitment that pursues another's best interests.

Write comment now Authorin: JBlasl Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:42 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1: The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it.

I really enjoyed this part of the passage because it emphasizes how faith is much more than just religion and how faith is something that brings about justice, mercy, peace, and joy. By tapping into that faith and love, we are able to help out others and be in communion with people and dedicate ourselves to helping others regardless of our differences.

Test 2: The tensions were between our own needs and the needs of others, between the present need and a future need. Inspired by the power of community, the generosity of Jesus, and the connection we felt to each other, we shared, and not only were our physical needs met, our spiritual needs were met, too.

By recognizing that our needs and the needs of others are similar and by sacrificing some of our things to help others, we are able to pool together resources that we may not be willing to share unless we realize that our needs all correlate and by helping others we in turn help ourselves spiritually by sharing love and faith with each other.

Write comment now Authorin: Natilombana Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:25 am
13
November
2013

Packard, Building on Faith by Ryan Ennis

Text #1
"First, there is a focus on relationships and community. There is an emphasis on building relationships and partnerships and accruing a deep understanding of the surrounding community."

Response #1
This is a crucial element of providing community service. Often times there can be a disconnect between community service programs and the community. that's not to say they still aren't beneficial, it's just that programs are best when they have a pulse on what is going on in the community and what specific issues need to be addressed. The best way to do this is by relationship building. Building relationships with community leaders like religious heads, political figures, and store owners along with the citizens can help an organization become an incredible support system as well as a community builder. Building these relationships takes patience and serious effort. It is important gain the trust and respect of these leaders so that the organization can have a lasting impact as well as the ability to bring change that is supported by the community. Trinity seems to have a firm grasp of this concept which is allowing them to bring change to their community.

Text #2
"College entrance and completion statistics describe a generation of young men with very little chance of social mobility. An African-American boy in the ninth grade in the Boston schools has a 7 percent chance of graduating from college."

Response #2
The demographics of college students is unacceptably unequal compared to the demographics of our country. The government has failed to provide an educational system that gives everyone a fair chance. Public School endowments are based off of the town you live in's tax profit. therefore poor communities have less money to use and therefore worse teachers and resources. The government has attempted to help these communities out but there is still a staggering difference between upper class public schools and lower class public schools. Kids that are born in these lower class communities have to achieve at a higher rate and fight against a current of inequality. The kids in the upper class towns have the unequal privilege of a paveway to college. they have to actively screw up in order to not be able to attend college, whereas the lower class towned kids have to excel at a high margin above their classmates. This unequal system causes America to have an educational standstill where the upper class families stay rich and educated, while lower class families are poor and under-educated. This is unacceptable and needs to be changed.

Write comment now Author: Ryan Ennis Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:22 am
13
November
2013

11/12/13 BLOG POST:

Text #1: "5 loaves, two fish, 5000 people fed, no denarii changing hands, no government contracts, no fund-raising, no earned revenue"

Response: Only in a perfect world, and only to meet everyone's minimal need. In the situation, this miracle, is only to feed people. We don't take into account personal gain or greed. In an imperfect world like ours, people want more, It always seems as if people just won't stop wanting more. The more we gain the easier it becomes to consider that wealth as common, we can't take being complacent, therefore we try to achieve more. If people actually cared about the community as a whole two may be possible, yet he like in a world where our opportunities are limited so were programmed by the environment and our parents to always achieve more. Achievement is almost biological. Overall we need to fix the system before we can move forward.

Text #2: "I found myself saying two things. One, there aare enough resources in Boston to solve Boston's problems. Two, if we all got to know each other, this would be a different city."

Response: I wish this was possible. Although i support personal gain, I also support building community and using the resources we have to better the community. Although i believe this, just because we have "enough" resources doesn't mean we can solve all of our problems. That's almost like saying if a person has a bow, arrow, and target that they will get a bullseye. You have to curb the idea of the people in Boston to solve the problems. We tend to make complex problems into basic mathematical problems when they aren't. If we can't accept that, and continue viewing the world through censored lenses then we will never change anything.

Write comment now Author: anguyen16 Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:11 am
13
November
2013

Week of 11/5 Post: Downward Mobility

-The section I liked the most was the short passage about faith. It says “to seek security through control of our surroundings dehumanizes us and destroys our environment. The alternative strategy is faith, by which we abandon ourselves to God’s care. Faith allows us to let things go and share what we have.”
-The last sentence of this paragraph stands out the most. I think it is a good way to look at things, and shows why people should have faith. Faith is partially about trust, which is a necessity. I think there needs to be some control in a person’s life in order to feel secure, but a person must also be able to let some control go. I also liked this passage because presents a different view from the harshness presented in beginning of the article.
-The parts of this piece I did not appreciate were the sections talking about the social ladder, and the importance of people. The social ladder is about how some people are considered valuable, while others are not. The people who are “important” are of a certain type, and get to determine who is “unimportant” based on their need for them. If an important person does not identify with another they are normally considered unimportant.
-The idea of the social ladder is honestly just sad. I think it bothers me because it is true, but seems morally wrong. I don’t see how one person can be considered more valuable than another or why someone should be able to decide that. Everyone is important to someone, so I don’t see the need for the categories.

Write comment now Authorin: vmcal Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:01 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1:
The first piece of text that stood out to me was the faith of the Trinity Boston Foundation. The core of their faith is described as "the belief that there is a great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy."

Response1:
This definition of faith stood out to me because I think its important that there is a foundation such as the Trinity Boston Foundation that is working towards a greater good by trying to change the Boston community. I think it is admirable that they are a small foundation that is really trying to make a difference even if it may only be in their own community. After reading about the Trinity Boston Foundation it occurred to me that there needs to be more organizations/people working towards justice, mercy, peace, and joy. I especially enjoyed the fact that they used the words "great love" because it shows that the people working towards peace and joy are passionate about their cause.


Text 2: The second piece of text that caught my attention was the last line of the reading. This stated the tagline of the Trinity Boston Foundation which is "Together, let's change the odds. But unless we get the together right, there's no way we will succeed."

Response2:
I really loved this quote because I think that in order to move towards a greater cause, people need to come together as a community. The fact that the Trinity Boston Foundation is recognizing that they need to come together means that they are going to be successful. This tagline applies to all aspects in life when trying to make a change because people must appreciate one another and be able to share ideas before making a change towards a greater cause. Groups/Organizations will not succeed if they do not respect one another because then ideas will clash and no change will be made.

Write comment now Authorin: Alexa Mancuso Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:00 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1: "Leverage existing assets...We need to get good at deploying what already exists as we are creating something new."

Response 1: I really liked this concept and the comparison to the parable of Jesus with the loaves and fishes. We live in a society that always tells us that we need more, and what we have is not good enough. It is extremely wise to look back to Jesus' time and note how he lived in the moment, and did not focus on what he did not have, but what he did have, namely the 5 loaves and the 2 fish. I think that people are afraid to tap into their own resources and leverage what they already have because of a belief that it is inadequate. We could save ourselves a lot of money, time, and energy if we just used what we have and see how we can improve it.

Text 2: "Our tagline at the Trinity Boston Foundation is 'Together, let's change the odds.' But unless we get the 'together' right, there's no way we will succeed."

Response 2: I really liked how the Trinity Boston Foundation places a strong emphasis on building relationships and community. Change begins when a group of people rise up to influence others in a positive way. Without unity, this doesn't happen. If everyone got together and pooled their resources, imagine all of the positive change that could occur in this world. The power that individual communities have is amazing. These are the strongest places to begin, for without a foundation, there is nothing to stay grounded in.

Write comment now Authorin: mmcguire Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:49 am
13
November
2013

Downward Mobility / Rumi

Posted on November 5, 2013 by jblasl

Community Of Equals “The solution to our global social crisis is not that the poor become rich, which is neither feasible nor desirable, but that the rich join with the poor.”

I liked this part in particular because a lot of ignorant people think that its about giving the poor the money of the rich. However, it is more about collaboration in the sense that we are all human and at a basic level no one person is greater than another. Just because you have money does not mean you are rich and just because you lack money does not mean you are poor. Everyone needs to look out for one another on a basic level of human rights, clothing, food, water and shelter. No one should be disrespected because of their finances. Every human being deserves the same treatment in order to live a life of true freedom and enjoyment. This needs to be a team effort everyone needs to connect in order to put everyone on an equal playing field, and again this has nothing to do with money but with rights!

RUMI- “Wanting wealth, power, and more tasty food have made you drunk. When you can’t have what you want, you get headaches. That hungover disappointment is proof that what made you drunk was desire. Let a more measured necessity govern the intensity of wanting.”
This is very relevant in the world we live in today swallowed by consumerism and the “need” to have “things”. This desire to want more and more has left us hungover and disappointed when we cannot get more of the more we already have allotted. We already have so much more stuff then necessary that this desire grows and feeds itself to a point where I do not think many people can ever find satisfaction, especially just within the simple beauties of life itself. We miss out on the actual “stuff” and “things” that do not leave us hungover such as beautiful sunsets, sunrises, ocean tides, stars, love and why? For what? because we need to have the newest IPhone to record everything we see or think we are “experiencing”. You cannot experience life stuck behind things that “capture” the moment. You are living through technology and with all the advertisements technology has you are beginning again the perpetual cycle of consumerism. Meaning, now you need the newer version because the old one was not good enough so you throw it out and buy again what you need. Meanwhile, you forget to just live and experience I mean actually feel and experience the world. You are left drunk in a haze of materials that you “needed” so badly.

Write comment now Authorin: JBlasl Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:42 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith by Louise Burnham Packard

Actual Text 1: “What does faith look like in an organization? First, there is a focus on relationship and community. Second, there is an emphasis on today’s needs. Third there is a tendency towards action versus causation, spending versus saving. Fourth, we have flexibility. Fifth, we have a holistic approach. And finally, we have big dreams.” (Page 50)

Response 1: This quote lays out five various ways faith is represented in an organization. I found all of them to be very interesting, especially the last one. First, there is a focus on relationship and community where partnerships create a deeper understanding of the community. Second, needs are at a bias for today vs. tomorrow. Third, there is a shift from caution to action and saving to sending. This is very apparent, even at Fordham. Fourth is our ability to respond to opportunities, even risky ones without fear of failure. Fifth is the holistic approach where the focus of relationship and community inspire leaders. Last, and in my opinion most important, faith allows people to do whatever it takes and a very focused determination to pursue challenges related to big ideas.

Actual Text 2: “The world is teeming with people who are feeling that something is missing in their lives. To the extent that we can offer connection and meaning, we can create public appetite and will for social Change.” (Page 52)

Response 2: This quote really spoke to be because I constantly feel like there is something missing from my life even though once I take a step back I realize I have everything I could ever want or need. This feeling is instilled on us from all the marketing and advertisements plus a variety of other reasons. People constantly feel like they don’t have enough and need more more more. The second part of this quote is almost too optimistic due to the fact that a public appetite currently exists for social change but there is little to no action being taken to combat these issues. It is a step in the right direction to acknowledge the problems but now it is time to start attempting to fix both social and economical.

Write comment now Authorin: Alyssa Mattocks Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:13 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1:

The whole section on the 'Miracle of Loaves and Fishes'
"The feeding of the 5,000, also called the miracle of the loaves and fishes, is one of only two miracles included in all four Christian gospels... They open up their knapsacks and share what they have, and it was more than enough."

Response 1:

I love the comparison to the gospel story. It fully demonstrates the power that generosity can create. The ideas presented become much more clear and simple when the author says, "We had to look at the loaf of bread or piece of fruit in our knapsack and override our impulse to save it for later, maybe for breakfast tomorrow. The tensions were between our own needs and the needs of others, between the present need and the future need. Inspired by the power of community, the generosity of Jesus, and the connection we felt to each other, we shared, and not only were out physical needs met, our spiritual needs were met, too." Reading this section really reassured my belief in the possibility of the ideas presented. The Economy of Communion also introduced the power of generosity among communities, and this reading just strengthened the ideologies that were presented.

Text 2:

"Over at Trinity, the numbers are not quite as daunting, but nevertheless, the tension persists. In January, the foundation board looked hard at two numbers. The first was our $20,000 deficit for 2010, which we needed to cover from our meager operating reserves. The second was the fact that we had given $135,000 to other organizations, $55,000 each to our Bostonians for Youth partners and $25,000 we had raised in response to the earthquake in Haiti and used to inspire a much larger citywide faith offering. So on a $1.3 million expense budget, we had both run a deficit and tithed. Best business practice? I am not sure. Faith calling? I hope so."

Response 2:

This passage struck a chord with me. I especially loved the last line, because the author realizes the potential of the Trinity Boston Foundation. The fact that the foundation was able to run a deficit of $20,000 and also give $135,000 to other organizations was very surprising. The author really does a great job of making the project seem highly successful and hopeful. However, I do realize it requires a lot of hard work even though the author makes it seem simple. Questioning whether it is the best business practice made me think, even though it may have been a joke. Fair trade and these other faith-driven business organizations are all working to achieve this "best business model" and I think it is only a matter of time before one of these revolutionary models breaks mainstream.

Write comment now Author: Pat.Alicki Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:13 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1: "I believe that the most valuable asset that congregations and other faith-based organizations can leverage is faith . The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it."

Response 1: As a member of many different faith communities in my school and parish, I can resonate with this quote in believing that faith is the center of and brings together communities. I believe it is the most powerful force in uniting people. Regardless of if they are religious or secular, a ground faith or common belief in something is a uniting force. Especially at a Jesuit university where we practice religious traditions, faith is a major factor that brings communities and congregations together.


Text 2: "We have flexibility. The ability to respond nimbly to opportunities or changing circumstances is prized over disciplined adherence to a multiyear plan. There's a willingness to pursue promising but iisky ideas without paralysis due to fear of failure."

Response 2: This quote particularly interested me among the other commons values in organizations and congregations. While this may sound contradictory as a student at a prestigious and rigorous university, I agree with the idea that being able to think quickly and in response to something is more valuable than book or typical knowledge. As Packard alludes to in the rest of the reading, communities are often challenged with situations that they did not plan for, and having flexibility is what allows them to be successful.

Write comment now Authorin: lmcgowan2 Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:58 am
13
November
2013

Building On Faith- Packard (John Treseler)

Fact 1
We had liberal, progressive Christian, and conservative evangelical Christians, and the head of the Jewish Community Relations Council all there together.

Response 1
These are the stories we do not hear enough of in out religious and faith based communities. This story about all different faiths coming to solve a problem of a church needing funding for renovation is truly inspiring. What it took was someone to see that there was a problem and lend a helping hand and to have groups accept the invitation to the breakfast. These opportunities to help each other are the ones that we need to encourage as a community of humans. We can do this by hanging out with different groups all together. Here we are able to see the value add when people come together. From my point of view this is 1+1=3. We see a few groups come together and the sum of them is greater than their individual parts. This is what relationships are all about, finding how to get 1+1 to equal 3.

Fact 2
Best business purpose? I am not sure. Faith calling? I hope so.

Response 2
This is a very difficult line for me to walk down. I do want to look at the long term sustainability of the program/organization. But with that I find it difficult to put off helping those who need the help right now. This is the fight that Packard seems to be having with herself in the moment. Practically the money will run dry if she continues to give out money to all these groups and maybe she is wrong and there is not enough money in Boston to solve all of Boston's problems since the money is in the red. But the other half says that she gave money to Hati and to other groups who may not be able to fund raise or who don't know how but need the money to give back and do good in the community. Its a very difficult line for me.

Write comment now Author: jtreseler1 Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:43 am
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