You may be familiar with the Scott Adams’ cartoon often seen in the newspaper, Dilbert, which chronicles the absurdities of the workplace and the distorted values of corporate America. It’s an on-going story of one cubicle-dweller’s struggle to make sense of it all.
I came across a copy of Scott Adams’ book, The Dilbert Principle, in which he expounds “Dilbert’s Laws of Work”:
• Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
• When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
• Everything can be filed under “miscellaneous.”
• If you are good, you will assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.
• If it wasn’t for the last moment, nothing would get done.
• Keep your boss’s boss off your boss’s back.
• Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
The point is, we have come to expect less than the best and we are proud of it! Just get by. Lie, cheat and steal! Everybody does it! That the way it is!
Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel, “it will not be so among you,” are among the most haunting of all Jesus’ utterances. We cannot help but hear the pleading, the hope in Jesus’ voice. “It will not be so among you” is perhaps the greatest challenge of the Gospel: these words call us not to accept business as usual, not to accept injustice and estrangements as “the way things are,” not to be satisfied with the Dilbert philosophy of “expect less than the best and be proud of it,” not to justify our flexible morals and ethics with the mantra “everybody does it.”
Christ calls us to a new perspective, a new vision of the human condition centred in the dignity of every woman and man as a daughter and son of God.
— Dr John Frauenfelder, Catholic Schools Office, Broken Bay