Advent Day 12: Peace = Cooperation

Peace is not the absence of trouble. It’s calm during the trouble. 

Yeah, okay. Also, peace is not the absence of work. It’s cooperation during the work. I often find myself fantasizing about days when I don’t have to work. What I want on those days is rest. Leisure. When I feel as I do at this moment, those moments of worklessness (not a word) are what I long for. But I’ll be honest, work is “real” life to me. Even my vision of heaven includes work. A complete person, in my estimation, is a person with purpose and work gives us purpose.

In that case then, peace must be when my work and your work combine to make the world a better place. One of the things I love about my production classes in film school was the collaborative nature of work that emerged. In the best projects, you’d find someone who loved to do lighting, someone else, who loved to write, someone else who loved to direct, and yet someone else who loved to edit. All of us brought our work together, our passion together, and we created whatever story it was that we were trying to create. Together. 

When I think of a perfect world, I don’t think of a world without work. The truth of the matter is  that I long for the validation that comes from work done well. No, when I imagine my ideal world, it is one where everyone is engaged in work that feeds their souls and where my work builds upon the work of my neighbor in meaningful ways. We cooperate. 

I think we need to stop thinking of our work as individuals and think of our work as communities of people. And I think we are aided by thinking of our work as worship. After all “liturgy” is the work of the people. If we don’t worship alone (which we shouldn’t) then we don’t work alone. We cooperate, we bring our work together, and we make the world better. 

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