Working Without Ever Giving up Dreams
Vocational Letters - June 2020.
By Miriam Di Lello, Lay Claretian - Italy
Dear Claretian Family,
I would like to share my thoughts and experience in light of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit no. 268-273, in the hope that it may help other young people who are confronted with the reality of work.
After my university studies, I realized that before me the world was opening the doors to work. I remember that the trinomial "youth, work, precariousness" at this time was already very much in vogue and quite demoralizing.
Today I'm twenty-seven, almost six years of work under my belt, four professions completely different from each other and, if there is one thing I have come to understand, is that despite the various difficulties, we cannot and should not settle for the work that touches us because, as Pope Francis says, "that can determine the quality and the amount of our time," which consequently, impacts many other choices in our lives. This is the reason why it is necessary to have the courage to always choose.
I believe that the first vocation of each of us is to live and live justly, that is by loving. We are called to love God, others and ourselves every day. For this reason, we cannot make the mistake of believing that work is only a means of profit. It is an instrument of growth and dignification of the individual, as well as an activity by which we can mature a vision of the community and non-individualistic world; because we generally do not work alone. We are called to intertwine relationships with others, which will inevitably make us grow through the exchange of ideas, misunderstandings and mutual help.
Personally, among others, I have had a way of facing two opposing work experiences: in the first case, an employment with a decidedly good retribution for a young person who takes her first steps in the search of economic independence, but paying too high a price (young people squeezed to the end of their own physical and mental forces); in the second case, the most beautiful years of my working experience.
Comparing these two realities, I can say that today, it is unthinkable to choose a profession based only on salary. It is when we find ourselves exactly where we feel called to be, that we become capable of things that we would never have expected of ourselves.
To waking up day after day with a smile, thinking that you are appreciated for who you are and what you do. To think about how much we are called to live, transmit, create, learn, thanks for our work, does not compare in the least to waking up thinking "when is payday?"
Unfortunately, reality does not coincide with what we truly desire. But one thing is certain: work is a necessity that covers an important part of our days and to spend all our lives taking place in an activity which we do not feel called to do is unthinkable and sad.
I could not end with better words than those used by Pope Francis: "Young people don’t always have the possibility to decide in what thing to dedicate their efforts, [...] but don't give up your dreams, definitively never bury a vocation, never give up. At a minimal, always continue searching; that which in your discernment you recognize as a true vocation."
Could you be called to a vocation to serve the people of God as a missionary? Check out www.myclaret.org to find out more and contact a vocation director who will be happy to accompany you on your discernment journey.