by Felicia

“Fan-friggin-tastic” is the only way I can describe the book I’m reading for my Aging and Spirituality class. Richard Rohr’s Everything Belongs speaks to what I’ve felt for a long while but have never been able to articulate.

Aside from its obvious spiritual life guidance, I feel it has direct application and affirmation for the everyday life of social workers.  Within the first chapter, Rohr speaks on the importance of doing works that bring a person closer to their true center as opposed to works that only satisfy superficial needs such as the ego or surface identities (i.e. money and prestige). For me this is the true essence of the role of social workers as advocates. These professionals are one of the few to initiate the unpopular fight. Social workers speak up for individuals that the rest of society rather not see and take on the problems that most would choose to ignore. They do these things at great risk of losing respect and credibility simply because it’s the good fight.   

 As the title indicates, Rohr also focuses on the need to accept that everything belongs. I apply this to social work in accepting that all populations are valuable and have a place in our society. Therefore, those struggling with addiction have something to teach us all about pushing through boundaries to find our true centers. Immigrants have a story about preserving through discrimination, language barriers, and poverty to make a better future for their children. Gay and lesbian populations teach us about being your true self despite the consequences so that you can be your best self. This list could go on forever.

Rorh’s work is acclaimed for its spiritual lessons. However, I feel that it also has practical applications for how to maintain a joy and passion for not only social work but any type of profession. Imagine a world where financial bankers, politicians, insurance companies, and so forth acted on what was right and just and centered around something bigger than themselves. What if we did actually live in a world where simply Everything Belongs?

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