Every weekend, millions of people around wake up early, dress their kids in cute clothes, and drive to a local house of worship to get good with God.
Then they get to work on Monday and act like assholes.
Churches, mosques, and synagogues are filled with loving and thoughtful people who hate their jobs. About 51% of the workforce is disengaged, which means that people right beside you in a pew or on a prayer rug are dealing with a stupid boss, a long commute, or a toxic work environment.
And they’re miserable.
I wonder how many choose to ignore the lessons of scripture — and I mean any scripture from the Old Testament to the Bhagavad Gita — and look externally for blame. It’s easier to get angry with HR than to figure out the root cause of suffering, just like it’s much easier to blame a higher power in the form of a supervisor or CEO instead of looking within for answers.
There’s a second-tier of people who are actively disengaged. They go to church on Sunday and ask for mercy for being born in sin and shaped in iniquity, but they don’t offer forgiveness to those around them. And they probably don’t realize how much Grace is bestowed upon them by their colleagues and supervisors, either.
Actively disengaged workers have no problem spending a majority of the week with a chip on their shoulder blaming everybody from their coworkers to Barack Obama for their lack of purpose and meaningful experiences in life. They sabotage meetings or company endeavors and make the world harder for the people around them. Then it’s back to church on Sunday.
I’m always curious about what comes next for people who are bitter and can’t move from anger to action. What happens to chronic victims who can’t catch a break? Do we ignore them? Do we keep putting them on performance plans? Do we send them back to pastors and EAP counselors hoping that someone might get through to them?
Nobody is getting through to them. Not right now, anyway.
I have an alternative thought for all workers on this beautiful Monday morning. Let’s pretend that going to work is another opportunity to get good with God. Shut your eyes, calm your mind and breathe. Listen to stories. Be humble, generous, and put other people’s needs first.
People of faith know that you can’t get good with God until you get good with yourself. I think you can’t get good with work until you do the hard work, put in the hours, and get good with yourself.