Richard Rohr Meditation: Joy and Hope: Weekly Summary

The Gospel is primarily communicated by highly symbolic human lives that operate as “Prime Attractors”: through actions visibly done in love; by a nonviolent, humble, and liberated lifestyle; and through identification with the edged out and the excluded of the world. The very presence of such Prime Attractors “gives others reasons for spiritual joy,” as St. Francis said.

Bonaventure pays little attention to fire and brimstone, sin, merit, justification, or atonement. His vision is positive, mystic, cosmic, intimately relational, and largely concerned with cleaning the lens of our perception and our intention so we can see and enjoy fully!

From Wallflower to Expert Networker

An introvert emulated the communication styles, dress and approaches others use to make good impressions

The ad agency’s flamboyant culture was a shock. “I was one of those button-down engineers who was quiet and held himself in the background,” Mr. Aradhya says. At his first client pitch meeting, a colleague from the creative department showed up in a pirate shirt. Another wore leather pants.

“They held court with clients, and they were completely respected,” Mr. Aradhya says. “I thought, ‘Hey, this is a new world.’

People trained in technology often have to sharpen their social skills to move into jobs that require selling, communicating or managing others. Mr. Aradhya made the shift by learning to explain technology to non-techies and polishing his image and conversational skills.

He traded his dark suits and button-down shirts for stylish shoes and bright-colored shirts, says Tonny Wong, his supervisor at Digitas. Mr. Aradhya also learned to talk about his complex work without making others feel intimidated, says Mr. Wong, now chief consulting officer at HackerAgency, a Seattle marketing company.

Introducing himself to strangers didn’t come naturally when he began attending events. “I had to force myself,” he says. Without a network, he says, “it’s impossible to scale or build anything valuable.”

.. You must “entertain, enlighten or enrich” people to attract positive attention to a brand, he says. He tries to do the same for people he meets, so they’ll remember him and help when they can.

 ..Mr. Aradyha began window shopping and researching men’s fashions online to figure out how to project a confident, successful image. He swapped his dark suits for jackets of crushed silk or woven with metallic thread, and wears exotic-looking designer shoes by Zota or Fiesso. The look shows he’s not afraid of taking risks, and tends to attract people who are curious and capable, he says. At many events, “I don’t even have to start a conversation,” he says. “People will ask, where did you get those shoes?”
.. His style makes him a standout at tech gatherings where “the men are in rumpled shorts and man buns and T-shirts, and you’re tempted to ask them, ‘Have you done your laundry in a month?’” says Diane Darling, author of “The Networking Survival Guide.”“He’s a very memorable figure,” says Lexington, Mass., public-relations executive Bobbie Carlton.

.. He also says something outrageous now and then. The audience was dozing off at a late-afternoon program recently where he was a panelist. He was the last to introduce himself, and he jolted listeners awake by identifying himself as “the king of India” who also happens to run Novus Laurus. “He definitely woke everybody up” and drew a laugh

The Joy of Hate Reading

My taste for hate reading began with “The Fountainhead,” which I opened in a state of complete ignorance as bonus material for a college class on 20th-century architecture. I knew nothing of Ayn Rand or of objectivism.

.. What stuck was the abiding knowledge that I was not, nor would I ever be, a libertarian.

.. It was only by burrowing through books that I hated, books that provoked feelings of outrage and indignation, that I truly learned how to read. Defensiveness makes you a better reader, a closer, more skeptical reader: a critic. Arguing with the author in your head forces you to gather opposing evidence. You may find yourself turning to other texts with determination, stowing away facts, fighting against the book at hand. You may find yourself developing a point of view.

.. loathing is mixed with other emotions — fear, perverse attraction, even complicated strains of sympathy. This is, in part, what makes negative book reviews so compelling.

.. the authors were too credulous of certain research, and in ways that served their thesis.

.. It can be interesting, and instructive, when a book provokes animosity. It may tell you more about a subject or about yourself, as a reader, than you think you know. It might even, on occasion, challenge you to change your mind.

.. an even more stimulating excitement comes from finding someone else who hates the same book as much as you do