Virtue, n. goodness, ethicality, honesty (morality);
excellence, quality (good)
Research by Dr. Martin Seligman of University of Pennsylvania, has discovered that there are at least six virtues that are supported by every major religion and cultural tradition.
As we read Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Benjamin Franklin, Ghandi, and Mother Theresa, we discover hundreds of virtues. The six that Seligman has identified in his research are:
- Wisdom and Knowledge
- Love and Humanity
- Spirituality and Transcendence
The question from the research is: How do we achieve these universal virtues? The answer is in developing our core strengths of character. We can learn, develop and acquire new strengths. To asses your current strengths, go to www.authentichappiness.org and take the VIA Strengths Survey.
We live in an interconnected universe. Every advancement we make globally impacts us personally and every improvement we make personally improves the world for everyone in our sphere of connection.
The theory of collective consciousness offers that anything we give to the world returns to us. We all add to life when we make efforts to benefit life. When we serve others, we all benefit. The giver, the receiver, and the observers of kindness are service all benefit. We are all connected. We are all life.
Whole Child Education is the answer to our current and future world problems and concerns. Our world needs whole, healthy, stable, consistent and secure people. We need children learning with their hearts and minds. We need integrated learning. Our focus must be integrating our academic content with Social Emotional Learning. We must re-commit our purpose to the whole child. Our schools (teachers and students) are best served with a holistic, wellness model that focuses on mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual health.
It is from this fully integrated approach that students are engaged, motivated, and enthusiastic about their learning.
“Vocation is the place where the hearts deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger.” - Frederick Buechner
“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”
- Fred Rogers
I remember watching Mr. Rogers with my children when they were very young. His gentle, kind demeanor was a moment of peace in a hectic world. Mr. Rogers always seemed to find the good in everyone.
I am aware that I am sometimes harsh with my self-assessment. I am learning there is great value in asking what is right with me as well as what needs to improve.
A positive inventory could include the following questions;
What are my positive character traits?
What skills and talents do I have?
In what ways have I been kind?
When have I stood up for myself or others in need?
Am I comfortable asking for help?
Do I set healthy boundaries?
What have I accomplished that was previously a fear?
Am I loving in my relationships?
Am I close to God?
How am I changing and growing?
Am I grateful?
Have I forgiven myself and others?