International Womens Month

International Women’s Month – A Note From Anna

By Anna Johnson

Someone told me recently that it is International Women's History Month. I admit I cannot keep up with the daily holidays, but I thought it was interesting timing because I read an article recently in the New York Times which talked about how women and men measure success. The line said: men measure success by how much money they make; women measure success by having a man. Read that again. Did you laugh? Me too. My parents' generation would likely agree with this assessment though. Perhaps that was a traditional home in that time. Funny how things change, huh? In fact, I'd say that half of our workforce is dominated by women, and likely women who are the bread winners in their home. Isn't it funny how the workforce has evolved over the last few decades?

Let's talk about work for a minute though. In grad school, I read an essay by Dorothy Sayers called "Why Work?" and let me give you a quick helicopter ride of the basics: Dorothy believed that society as a whole is dying because people are using the modern doctrine of work - working just to make money or have status, when really work should be a gracious expression of creative energy.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love reading books by C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis was a writer and literary scholar, and he was brilliant. I have so many journals of notes from his writings and teachings, and I enjoy his perspective. Lewis often talks about how we should think about work throughout his books, so, let me break it down and offer two practical guidelines to working:

1) Work a job that makes you useful.

1. Principle: Work that is good work, HELPS! The functional reason you should do any job is because it helps other people. You shouldn't work a job because it gives you money or status, but because it makes you useful to other people.

2. Application: Choose a job or career that fits you, but benefits others.

2) Strive for quiet. Strive for rest.

1. Principle: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. Your job or career should fit your interests, talents, desires, and abilities. If you are experiencing disquiet in your life, it's because you may not be doing the work you are supposed to be doing.

2. Application: What can I do that leads to more peace and passion?

Remember the movie Chariots of Fire? It is based on the true story of two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, who are both competing for a gold medal. Throughout the movie, Eric says he runs for God - because it just makes him feel good, but not on Sundays. He had boundaries. And what does Harold say? Harold says he just runs to justify the next 10 seconds of his existence. Two men on the same path, but very different purposes.

Remember that good work arises from a deep rest, not restless work.

I hope you are all using work as an expression of your creative energy. Happy International Women's History Month to all the hard working women out there!