Some Ideas on Review of Life and Worker Action

Is the Review of Life and Worker Action (ROLWA) a time when you share with others your problems and get support and advice? If this is so what you do if you haven’t got any problems?

The central idea behind ROLWA is the idea of mission and vocation. Each one of us is a person who has a dignity and value beyond any created thing. We were created with a mission to fulfil in the world.

How do you find out what it is that God is calling us individually to do? We find it by listening to our own lives because God is calling us through the ordinary events of our daily lives. For ROLWA is a time to share with others the events of our daily lives, the things that have affected us, our thoughts, hopes, plans, actions, disappointments, fears and our visions. If we talk about these things to one another as a community, the picture of God calls us to do become clear. You make decisions to act and plan how to act.

What sort of things do we bring up for the Review? They can be divided into five main types.

Problems: If you have something that is a problem at home, work or in some area of life then it is good to discuss that in the group and work out how the problem can be solved.

Items of interest: Tom read in a magazine recently about how Ethiopia is selling canned meat to buy warplanes and this at a time and so many of their people are dying from starvation. That is something that can be brought up at ROLWA as an item of interest to be reviewed. As with every other thing in ROLWA you use See, Judge, Act:

See – What exactly is happening? Why? With what effects?

Judge -What you think about this? What would Christ do and think if he were of you?

Act – What do I want changed? Can I do something to start this happening this week?

Facts of Action: Sometimes in life a situation arises and we react straightaway, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not so good way. At ROLWA we can review this. For example at Anna’s on Sunday night we all turned up and had afternoon tea. Anna made sure to include her Mum and Dad by translating all the jokes into German. That was good to see. So easily they could have been left in the background because they don’t understand and speak English very well. Again we would do See Judge Act. It is easy to do See Judge Act. But what action comes out of something like this? For Anna it might deepen her understanding of the love and sacrifice her parents make for their children in coming to Australia and the so her duty is to help them to settle and have friends here and learn the language. For others in the group it might mean that they could think of someone they know that is left out in some way and the action might come from that. For example, Sue might bring up the situation of Anna’s action as a subject of the Review. This might challenge Anna to be even more committed and aware of her parents for it might result in an action by me (Hugh O’Sullivan) in writing to my mother back in South Australia.

Review of Influence: Cardijn was always talking about the power of the environment to influence people. We hear a lot about that today as “peer group pressure”. One of the speakers at this week talked of how young people leaving school can so easily be influenced in one direction or the other by who they associate with. Sue spoke of how she sees the power of influence of a group in school. Any situation of aware we were influence strongly ourselves or where are we solved others influenced is something worth reviewing. Influence can of course be for good or evil. How many times have seen someone who is a real centre of fun, laughter, good times come to group, a workplace a town? Again we do the See Judge Act on the situation.

Personal Enquiry: Sometimes instead of asking people to tell about something they want to Review from the past week, the president suggests that tonight we will do a personal enquiry into some particular aspect of our lives e.g. Family Life. The thing we look that is this. God put me in my family and has a role for me to play in that family. So I look at what I think Christ would think of me and my family life and what I ought to therefore to do. There are so many areas that we could talk about e.g. On this weekend we looked briefly at home, work, leisure, the body, our mind, the faith life, our money. There are so many subjects we could discuss and again we do See Judge Act.

We should try as often as possible to get some action decided on at the meeting. Action to be worthwhile should be:

  • Challenging: Something that takes a bit of courage.
  • Worthwhile: Something that might work.
  • Achievable: It is no good asking people to do the impossible.

It is not always possible to come up with an action for every situation but it is still good to have talked about it

But for each one of us personally you will not get much out of the YCW if it is not challenging your life and that means your action. YCW is not the group, it is your life. You should think about what your action is going to be as you drive home from a meeting and you should review that as you drive to the next meeting.

(Undated Note by Hugh O’Sullivan)