Small Talk

July 1, 2012 - Raymond J. de Souza

Graduation season has just concluded and wisdom, conventional or otherwise, was dispensed by commencement speakers across the land and around the world. Tufts University made an excellent choice in Eric Greitens, a Rhodes Scholar, Navy SEAL and philanthropic entrepreneur. He had this to say: "The best definition I have ever heard of a vocation is that it's the place where your great joy meets the world's great need." It's not polite to speak about God on the modern university campus, but that definition of vocation presumes that some Providence is arranging the happy coincidence of joys and needs. To recent graduates who are wise enough to read these pages: May you discover the happiness of knowing that your great joy meets the world's great need and the more sublime happiness of knowing the One who arranged it so.

Our publisher is resident in Montreal, and the editor-in-chief is a university chaplain, so there is more than passing interest here in the student protests in la belle province. There is much to say about all of that, and in due course we shall. One notes that the government department at the heart of the dispute is the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. To control education is the State's dearest desire. A ministry for sport is harmless silliness. But leisure? Rather creepy in a totalitarian sort of way, is it not? Surely free citizens are capable of arranging their loisir without assistance or supervision from the State. And what of us at Convivium, employing our leisure to ruminate upon the follies of the government? The students are upset that their State subsidies are being marginally restrained. Where is the outrage on behalf of us leisurely scribes, laying out and printing our magazine in Montreal, despite not receiving a cent in subsidy? Don't forget our readers, doing us the honour of spending their leisure time with our pages. The leisure bureaucracy should be directing some booty our way. Comrades, to the streets!

Enjoying the comfortable life can take one out of one's comfort zone. I was in a fancy hotel of the historic Fairmont chain not long ago, booked in by my hosts for a speaking engagement. It was a treat, and desiring to sleep in, I sought to employ the do-not-disturb sign, not expecting to be almost stymied by that great Canadian amusement: translations that are not equivalent in French and English . . .

The full text of this article is available only in Convivium's hard-copy print issue, Volume 1, No. 3.
Become a member now to receive your copy: click here.

Posted in Education, Politics, Vocation.

Subscribe to our Cardus Monthly Newsletter
A concise digest of upcoming events, recent publications, and major policy updates & developments.
  • Stay up-to-date and informed
  • Only one concise digest email per month
  • We will never share your email address. No Spam!
We will never sell or rent your email address. Your privacy is important to us

Copyright © 1974-2014 Cardus. All Rights Reserved.

| More

Join the Convivium Project

What's a Convivium?

Great question. Convivium means living together. This project brings together citizens of differing convictions and religious confessions to contend for the role of faith in our common life.

Convivium is published by Cardus, a registered Canadian charity. Our project exists to serve our common good, starting with articulating and protecting a place for faithful citizens.

Learn more about Convivium
Learn more about Cardus

In the Current Issue

  1. July 2012: Volume 1, No. 3
    Comment Magazine - Volume 1, No. 3 Our current issue's look back at World Youth Day 2002 is more than just a nostalgic remembrance of what was. It is a call to what the polis, the shared space of the city, can be...

Sharing Life