Right Livelihood is a Buddhist term that connotes the work we do in the world to serve our communities and make the most of our gifts. When applied to TLA, Right Livelihood maintains this understanding with an encouragement that we can all find ways to lead out lives in ways which are fulfilling for ourselves and our communities. Transformative Language Arts is deeply rooted in Right Livelihood, melding our experience as artists of the language arts with the needs in our own context. Making and sustaining opportunities for many peoples to express themselves through the arts also means personally and economically sustaining ourselves. In the context of TLA training and development, Right Livelihood encompasses the following:
- The Art of Facilitation
- Ethics in Action
- Engaging Diversity
- Sustainable TLA Business Practices
- The Art of Self-Care
Working in an ethical way that takes into account the effect of our actions on the world means we need to be mindful of these five areas while also cultivating work that brings us meaning and purpose. Each of these areas spills into the other, and yet all are necessary to pay attention to, continually learn about, question, and through questioning, perhaps live into Rainer Maria Rilke’s quotation, “Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.” Please visit the Goddard College Transformative Language Arts resource page for additional Right Livelihood resources. Doing TLA in your community means cultivating continual awareness of any ethical issues involved inthis work — from what it means to facilitate arts-based transformation to being knowledgeable about when to referral people for additional help. Here are some resources to get you started in thinking through potential issues and ethical approaches.