This week I continue with the topic of our school motto. I am going share with you the truth of method. This method Joseph Cardijn named “See, Judge, Act” has been adopted as a universal way of decision-making and problem-solving, both in the Catholic church and in the secular world.
Every day, when I drive to work, I am blessed to see the amazing coastline overlooking the Gulf of St Vincent. Then I see the amazing hills leading to the world-renowned McLaren Vale. Every day I am greeted by Cardijn students, every day I see the amazing talents and care that teachers at Cardijn College have for their students, each day I meet parents who share with me their joy of seeing their children flourish and thrive. These are amazing grace moments in my life. These are moments which in our Christian church we call ‘God-moments’. In Psalm 78 we are reminded of God’s goodness and our capacity to take these gifts for granted – we read “Do not forget the works of the Lord”. In the busyness of the day and our circumstances we may miss and not see these God-moments. God appears to us in the plain and ordinary moments of the day just like I described above, however today we are all experiencing something extraordinary. Across the globe every person has been impacted by the global pandemic of COVID-19. We have seen suffering, we have seen the pain, the helplessness and now the hopelessness. Each day we hear state leaders tell us that we need to do more to beat this virus – lockdown, distance, stay home, get tested, isolate and more. Each day we hear more about the effects of this virus and our hope that life can return to normal is further away and more distant. These circumstances have created conditions of fatigue. We know about fatigue such as combat fatigue suffered by soldiers deployed on operations away from their families for months and living each day in harm’s way. Parents with newborn babies know too well the effect of fatigue when you do not get enough sleep looking after your child. There are other types of fatigue such as donor fatigue the effect of being continually asked to give generously and dig deeper. Fatigue can cause us to miss these God-moments.
We are all aware of being vulnerable and it is not cool to show your vulnerability, in fact as a leader or teacher we are expected to be brave and stoic, keep your chin up and get on with your work. Be focussed, do not let others down. The reality however is that we are fatigued and we are human. We are fatigued from this pandemic, we have reached that point where we have become helpless and beginning to think that the future is hopeless.
In coping with fatigue, whichever type and especially the COVID-19 fatigue, there are three key strategies to consider. First, never compromise on your values, such as compassion, care, friendship, generosity, presence, family and many more. It is what sustains us. Keep these safe and foremost. Second, take time to retreat, find time to relax, to be generous to yourself, to be still, to focus on your inner self, to meditate. Third and most importantly, live in community, do not travel alone, be with others, share your burdens, look out for one another and reach out to people who have helped you. To See what is happening around us now is to be present to the daily reality of what we are facing during this global pandemic. To Judge is to live our faith and show those important values which form the foundation of what we stand for. To Act is to respond by using these three strategies I described above.
Say a little prayer!