In Working Lives, SMSC4SCHOOLS.co.uk profiles the working experiences of everyday people and examines individual career and occupation choices within a spiritual, moral, social and cultural context.
Considering how our choice of work reflects who we are, the values we exercise through this work and to what extent our labour can be thought meaningful beyond its financial rewards, these profiles offer insights into the working lives of people, which, it is hoped, might raise aspirations regarding the function of work as both a means of personal discovery and fulfilment. Profiles are added weekly to view and are also available free as a PDF document, for use in the classroom.
- The word ‘genius’ from the Latin ‘genii’ originally meant ‘guiding light’ and that according to the ancient philosophies, everyone had one. Your genius was thought of as your core or inner most being: your unique abilities and attributes and your potential to fulfil them. To discover your genius was to become self-aware and to hence find your natural talents and gifts - which would lead to personal fulfilment and contentment (which is perhaps the reason why the Greeks put so much emphasis on the instruction to ‘know thyself’).
Indeed, in the medieval poem, The Divine Comedy, the pilgrim, Dante, was advised as much by his dead mentor, Brunetto Latini, who said: ‘Se tu segui tua stella, non puoi fallire al glorioso porto, se ben m’ accorsi nella vita bella.’, (‘if you follow your star, you cannot fail to find your glorious port, if I discerned rightly in the fair life’).
Whilst there’s no doubting Dante’s genius – that of a poet, what about our own genius? Locating our genius and following this ‘guiding star’ may be crucial to our success in securing a career or work choice which suits our needs and motivations, and which ultimately provides us with a sense of the joie de vivre we all seek.
Hopefully the profiles your read here might go some way toward encouraging you to reflect upon your own star; that is, to consider your own gifts and talents and how they might inform a future career or occupation.
Working Lives – Profiles