#1586 Areté +1° #387: We Are Only the Lightbulbs

Our Job? Stay Screwed In!

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, one of 451 micro-chapters from our new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.


Richard Rohr is one of my favorite teachers.

Alexandra got me his book called Falling Upward after I told her how much I loved David Brooks’s The Second Mountain. Apparently, it’s recommended alongside that book on Amazon. With 1,400+ reviews, Alexandra thought I might like it.

Not only did I like the book, I loved it. And, I fell in love with Richard Rohr in the process of reading it as well.

Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest.

In fact, he’s been a Franciscan priest for FIVE DECADES.

This has particular resonance for me as I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for twelve years. At my elementary school and primary church, our priests were Franciscan.

The closest I’ve come to studying an integrated Catholic perspective thus far has been Anthony de Mello—a Jesuit priest. (Matthew Kelly is phenomenal as well.)

So, I found Father Richard’s wisdom particularly resonant for a range of reasons.

Now… When I read a book, I use a blank note card as a bookmark. On that note card, I jot down related books and ideas I want to make sure we cover in the Philosopher’s Notes I create.

After reading chapters in which Rohr connected Odysseus and the Hero’s Journey to Christianity and our modern lives, at the top of my bookmark-card, I wrote this description of him: “If Joseph Campbell was a Franciscan monk.”

I laughed as I typed that but it’s pretty darn close to being a great micro-bio. Throw in a little Ken Wilber and we have one of my all-time favorite spiritual teachers.

In this +1°, I want to chat about a fantastic line from the book that comes pretty darn close to capturing the intention behind ALL of our work together.

Here it is…

“As Desmond Tutu once told me on a recent trip to Cape Town, ‘We are only the lightbulbs, Richard, and our job is just to remain screwed in!’”

How great is THAT?

We’re only the lightbulbs.

Our job?

Remain screwed in.

Activate your Heroic light.

And shine.


Unlock this Heroic +1 (and over 1,000 more)!

Create your account to get more wisdom in less time. Personal development made simple so you can flourish in energy, work, and love. Today.

Sign Up Today