Contractor or full-time? The Christian purpose of working for a living

Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay.

Detroit invented “the good job,” workers earning good money spending decades at one steady job. Critics labeled them “wage slaves.”

In December 1913, Henry Ford invented the Detroit-style assembly line. Instead of spending 12 hours producing one car, “the line” allowed workers to make a Model T in 93 minutes. Turnover soared.

So, Ford doubling wages to an unprecedented $5 per day. Applicants came to Michigan from all over — staying for decades. Simultaneously, corporations and governments around the globe grew, creating a giant middle class.

A growing number of theologians, economists, and academics say materialism, communism, and socialism each…


Why we long to be part of something bigger than ourselves

Feeling special yet? Entering Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo by Joseph Serwach.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — At Ocean Enclave, the Grand Strand’s tallest building, staffers tell owners: “Welcome Home.”

Hilton Grand Vacation owners get a unique wrist band (different than guests), helping everyone know they are “in the club.”

Such small recognitions make you “feel rich,” part of something bigger than yourself. A growing body of marketing and psychology research shows the need to fit in and “belong” moves people to join — and buy.

The greatest communities — and organizations — often act like clubs. From Costco and Sam’s to Facebook to Peloton to the “frequent traveler” organizations, the “in the…


Citizen Trump: A One Man Show Book Review

New Robert Orlando book: How the media made Trumpism possible and (unintentionally) keeps it growing

Above: Scenes from Citizen Trump: A One Man Show. Images courtesy of Nexus Media.

Robert Orlando made his mark studying transformational characters, explaining their stories with a fascination for loved and loathed larger-than-life men.

“As an author and filmmaker, I spend many hours competing for airtime and require the stage as a place where we remind ourselves we are not alone,” Orlando explains. “Maybe that’s why we read books, even our holy ones, to know we’re not alone.”

Orlando has a particular fascination for “the anti-hero,” often tragic, full of flaws (both reviled and adored), all unlike anyone else. …


Detroit police chief retires effective June 1: Expected to challenge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Detroit Police James Craig at his news conference today. Photo by Joseph Serwach.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig officially announced his retirement Monday, effective June 1, without confirming reports he will challenge Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022.

“Yes, I am a Republican. I’ve been a Republican” for more than a decade, Craig confirmed. “In 44 years, I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad day. I love the work. I’m passionate about it. I was 19 when I entered the police academy in Detroit.”

He cited a long list of accomplishments, building neighborhood policing in Detroit and cleaning up corruption within the department, including the Operation Clean Sweep investigations that rooted…


Polonia marks 230 years since Europe’s first Constitution: “We are not here wasting our time”

The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, the first European Constitution and the world's second after the U.S. Constitution. Public domain painting by Jan Matejko via Wikimedia Commons.

Poles worldwide celebrate a 1791 Constitution that triggered neighboring powers to invade, wiping Poland off the map for 123 years. Two of the constitution’s authors, Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, called the document “the last will and testament of the expiring Fatherland.”

Why celebrate a constitution that was in effect for just a year?

Why Poles celebrate May 3

There are 38 million Poles in Poland, but the loss of the 1791 Constitution means another 20 million Poles are spread around the world in a diaspora known as Polonia, including 850,000 in my native Michigan.

As they have since the 19th century, more than 400…


The reason marriage is called matrimony (and not patrimony): a family orbits around a strong mother.

Photo collage by Joseph Serwach.

Few Detroiters were stupid enough to mess with Dad: Provoking him was pointless — like Canada declaring war on the USA.

Dad was a 6-foot-2 legendary police officer. He started at the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department after the notorious 1967 Detroit Riots (more died in the ’67 Detroit riots than in all rioting combined nationwide in 2020–21). It took shell-shocked southeast Michigan decades to recover.

I still remember seeing the riot helmets and billy clubs walking into the department’s locker room. Grosse Pointe had Michigan’s lowest crime rate even though it was right next to the roughest Detroit neighborhoods.


The power of technology — or God Himself? No such thing as a coincidence

Image by FunkyFocus from Pixabay.

Weird but true: an odd 1962 Dodge Dart caught my eye, so I took a photo. The very next day, YouTube recommended a new video: “The Weird Chrysler Cars of the Early 1960s.”

I figured this was an example of Google “knowing everything,” texting the story to my son (who said he’d seen the same video two days earlier). Our gut reaction? Cue the Rockwell/Michael Jackson song:

“Sometimes, it feels like somebody’s watching me.” Our knee-jerk, all-American assumption? Technology is a new god. All-knowing.

We expect our devices to record our spoken words and keystrokes. I didn’t “say” or type…


18,000 dead in Michigan: Is it anxiety, the virus, vaccines — or all of the above making us scared?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Nearly everyone walking along State Street near the University of Michigan is still “masked up” even after federal and state officials eased outdoor restrictions.

Ann Arbor is the heart of Washtenaw County with the fourth-highest rate of vaccinated residents of any Michigan county: more than 61.4 percent have been vaccinated. Washtenaw is also the state’s most educated county: more than half have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Just three counties, Leelanau (with 69.2 percent receiving at least one dose), Grand Traverse County, and Emmet County, have higher vaccination rates. Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, has Michigan’s lowest…


TV, films, books fixate on East and West Coasts: What happened to the stories about everyone else?

Above: Film director/author Robert Orlando. Image courtesy of Nexus Media.

Donald Trump knows the media better than they ever knew him. According to the author of Simon & Schuster’s Citizen Trump: A One Man Show, the media is now ignoring a vastly under-served market.

Author (and film director) Robert Orlando says Trump’s removal from social media and Rush Limbaugh’s death jolted the media landscape. Trump may be coming back with his own social media platform, but where’s the non-political media serving Trump’s 75 million supporters?

“Conservatives ‘own’ news about politics, but who’s telling the rest of their story?” Orlando’s book argues. …


Vaccination rates matter: 74% of elderly but just 36% of young Michigan residents received shots

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

DETROIT — Michigan continues to lead the nation in COVID-19 cases, and for the first time, young people 40 and under are more likely to be hospitalized than the elderly 80 and over.

Michigan is still averaging more than 4,000 cases per day (though numbers are dropping), while Colorado ranks second with 1,692 cases.

“It’s definitely become more of a young person disease now,” Dr. Mark Hamed of Sanilac County told MLive. “(Younger people) haven’t been vaccinated, and they’ve been more likely than older folks to go out and about, be in close contact with others and go to gatherings.”

Joseph Serwach

Story + Identity = Mission. Author, Writer: Journalism, Leadership Culture, Communications, Religion, Education, History. Inspiration: Catholic, Polish.

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