I spent the last two weeks driving the back roads of Indiana and Illinois farm country. I saw a lot of corn fields and soybean fields, and I hate to admit it took me longer than I’d like to admit about how to tell the difference. (It helps that corn is a lot taller now than soybeans!) I couldn’t help but think about these small rural parishes in farm country that I’m traveling to though. Most of them feel ignored by big city parishes, wealthy suburban parishes, and even the Diocese. They’re hard to travel to when there’s not an interstate in site for miles and even finding a gas station can be rather complicated on a long trip!
A few months ago I was struck by a guest essay in the New York Times about languishing. An emotion we were feeling collectively as a culture that we didn’t quite have a name for it. Adam Grant defined it as Languishing – not quite depression, but also not happiness or joy. This past weekend a Catholic leader shared another guest essay from Adam Grant about the other side of languishing: Collective Effervescence.
There are a lot of books about leadership on the market. I use many of them in the workshops I lead for Dioceses, including the work I mentioned a few weeks ago about the Change Style Indicator. I was cleaning off my desk last week and saw this book again. I’ve loved Dr. Brené Brown’s work for years including her books, TED talks, Netflix special, and her general take on shame, vulnerability, and courage. I want less of the first and a ton more of the last two, don’t you?