Last week was a busy one as regards personal and professional community activities. Interesting to compare the way in which networking took place. The first activity was an evening seminar for employment lawyers. This took place in one of the attractive sets of chambers in London's Temple. Packed - not a single seat available even for ready money. Possibly this was more a reflection of the huge volume of legal red tape being generated for employers by Europe and Westminster, than that of widespread concern for workers although to be fair the legal profession does attract many who do fight for the society's down trodden. The networking was facilitated after the event by generous glasses of wine being provided as one chatted with colleagues.
The next was a day Conference of Religious at a London University College. Again not a spare seat available which is especially encouraging as the fading importance of the Church and inexorable decline in numbers are often portrayed as givens but a conference like this makes one optimistic. The theme there was of care for the elderly encompassing not only aged parents but also aging members of communities for the Common Good. The mark of a civilised society being apparent from the ways it treated those in its margins was emphasised. 'Networking' seems too secular a word to apply to the spirit of this conference where there was no wine but much thought provoking prayer and other good nourishment in the form of coffee (plus lunch).
The third was a Saturday morning governors' meeting held away from the School at a local convent. Networking there arose not only from the common good but also the specific common
aim of enhancing the School's excellence. The theme was appropriately enough for an academic institution, succinctly described in Latin as, Cura personalis which signifies a concern for each individual. Normally a jog over Wimbledon Common on a Saturday is quite gruelling as a result of tiredness following a week at work in London but the uplifting nature of the Cura Personalis based meeting was manifest in a great run not beset by normal Saturday weariness.
Overall all three activities were well worthwhile. Committee meetings and other similar gatherings can sometimes be more of a drudge than a boon but where there is a good point to be discussed and where good will abounds, outcomes which refresh and reinvigorate are more likely.