Imagine entering a hospital where, several times each day, the staff meditate and celebrate with all patients who are able to participate. Imagine that all people would regard their work in such a hospital as inseparable from their private lives, that their home lives would be an extension of their work lives and vice versa. You would know that all people who share with you while you are in this hospital consider it a privilege. Imagine a staff that regards being well-rested and clear as their sacred duty. Imagine the emergency room, surgical and ward teams understanding how to tap their collective energy and thus create a high energy team.
Wow. And so I imagine. I call this kind of environment a church, in the best sense of the word. People are happy to be there. People talk to each other about their lives, about important things. People sometimes hold each other’s hand. And people really look into each other’s eyes.
I think my Costco South in London is a church. I am welcomed. Folks smile at me. The staff are usually very busy but they make sure I am seen. I can be silly with the food demonstrators and with the people behind the hot dog counter. I can go to the optical department and complain that my eyes are falling out. I can greet fellow customers on my way through produce. It’s home.
Sir Arthur Carty School in London is another church. The principal is real, not a role. The hallways are filled with happy chatter at recess time. The staff room is full at lunch … little knots of conversation, and none of it complaining about students. Short human beings and taller human beings appreciate each other. And the answer to “What do you teach?” is “Kids”.
Places of communion exist
They are right under our collective noses
Let’s go find them