I like to play a little with words and therefore I think it is useful to start from the etymology. Referring back to the Latin, persona has to do with the verb per-sonare which means to echo loudly; therefore it has to do with sound, music: we are people if we resonate, if we emit vibrations.
Referring instead to the Greek language, persona derives from the term pròsopa, which indicated the mask the actor wore during the play. This mask had two functions: that of amplifying the actor’s voice and, at the same time, of identifying the character. If we accept these two nuances of the term person, we can therefore ask ourselves: The choices we make every day, what vibrations do they cause in us and in others?
Do the different roles we have during a day (parents, classmates, friends, colleagues, managers of some office or function …) cover something of us or enhance who we are? If they cover or hide something from us, the risk is that we become hypocrites (which means actor) falling into hypocrisy: we are playing a part, but our real life is another. If, on the other hand, they exalt what we are, they orient us toeudaimonìa which means flowering of ourselves and of the relationships we live. In a simpler way, we can ask ourselves how much our professional growth is in tune with our personal one?
How to become a centered person
In order to give substance to the search for eudaimonìawhen we talk about people we use the adjective “centered”. Person centering certainly has to do with awarenesswith inner harmony, with the balance between personal life and working life.
In my monastic tradition, it has to do with spirituality and wisdom. Let’s clarify the terms, at least in a synthetic way. By spirituality we mean the ability to ask questions of meaning, that is, those questions that give direction and meaning to the things we do. To get correct answers you need to start with correct questions.
There is nothing worse than a right answer to a wrong question. Paying attention to the question also allows you to understand if the answers are correct and adequate, if they need to be updated, or if they are of no use because the questions have changed.
By wisdom we mean that ability to taste the flavor of life; it is knowing how to activate a sensitivity that certainly includes intelligence, knowledge, emotion, but that knows how to go to a deeper level. It is not a question of having more information, more data, but of the ability to read inside things and find new connections. How many educated people are arrogant and pedantic and how many simple people are wise and welcoming and therefore centered? In a complex world like ours it’s hard to get inside and connect: it takes time and it seems that today there is less and less.
Business and personal growth
Work can be a tool for people to flourish and be centered. In the Benedictine world, work is a fundamental component for the growth of the person. Famous is the motto: pray and work, pray and work. I cannot dwell on a specific analysis of what is behind this motto and therefore I will limit myself to sharing some reflections. Work is a highly educational place: especially today, where many traditional educational agencies (Church, Politics, School) are in crisis. Since people spend a lot of their time at work or thinking about work, we need to ask ourselves what do we want to educate those who stay with us? Only efficiency, productivity or something else too?
Work is an environment strongly political, in the sense that behind every product created and every service provided there is an idea of a human being that we want to carry forward and an idea of the world that we want to build. What idea of a human being guides us? Which world do we want to build? What relationships do we want to live? The work, even the most technical, and all the places where it takes place therefore become social and not just economic actors. It is not for nothing that a discipline called Algoreticsethical reflection on algorithms and artificial intelligence.
From the centered person to virtuous work
In the Rule of St. Benedict, there are three words used to describe the work: Opus, Labor and Ars. Opus has to do with the spiritual and meaningful dimension (prayer and study). Labor indicates manual work. Ars indicates the part of art or the craftsman, where the creative component has an important weight. Through Opus I modify myself, I make myself a better person.
Through the Labor I modify or create an object. For San Benedetto, however, also the Labor has a component of Opus (self improvement) and therefore while I work concretely I have to improve myself too and not just create good products or services.
L’Ars it is at the service of this improvement of myself and of things. It is very interesting to note that the term Ars Latin has the same root Ar of a Greek word Arethé which means Virtue. In a more modern language we could talk about potential, competences, abilities, soft skills, the attitude of the human being to do good good.
For example, when we say that a musician has made a virtuosity, we mean that he has managed to bring himself, the instrument he plays and the piece he performed to the maximum expression. Similarly becoming virtuous at work means bringing our person to the fullness of fulfillment, the people we deal with; it means doing things well, creating products and delivering services that are beautiful, functional, sustainable and all that today we try to give importance to. Being a centered person has to do with being and with being there, it includes the sensitivity and the courage to look with different eyes, to find new connections, so that our flowering and the world around us can be realized together.
Father Natale Brescianini was born in the province of Brescia in 1971. He attended the classical high school and theology at the diocesan seminary of Brescia. In 1996 he entered the Camaldolese Benedictine Community at the Hermitage of San Giorgio in Bardolino (VR). From 1998 to 2001 he attended the Pontifical Institute of Sant’Anselmo (Rome), where he obtained a Licentiate in Theology, Specialization in Monastic Studies. He makes his solemn monastic profession in 2003. he completes his training by spending a year (2003-2004) in the Camaldolese monastery in Berkeley (California – USA) and working as a clerk in a company in Verona (2004-2006).
Since 2006 he has been involved in the creation of training courses that refer to the Rule of St. Benedict and as a co-teacher in some training days in collaboration with the Askesis company. Since July 2007 he has lived at theHermitage of Monte Giove. In May 2013 she obtained the Coach Diploma from the Incoaching School. Since May 2016 he is Coach ACC (Associeted Certified Coach) at ICF (International Coach Federation). Now he is dedicated specifically to corporate training and the Coaching.