Education of The Heart.
It's a phrase that is boasted about on campus tours, frequently seen in materials from the Office of Admissions, and often viewed as the competitive differentiator when it comes to a college education.
But what does that phrase exactly mean?
Well... if we're speaking in the technical sense, discussing the topic at the dinner table... the College's website defines it this way:"More than a century ago, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini urged her teachers to 'educate the hearts' of their students. She insisted that a Cabrinian education link intellectual competence with moral development and instill a special concern for those persons who are in need."
But many students who dash and dart through their busy days on campus have scattered interpretations and definitions of the phrase. Regardless of where people stand, I believe there are three qualities and/or traits that everybody agrees on when it comes to defining factors of our beloved, "Education of The Heart."
1. Commitment to Social Justice/The Greater Good
Those who live their education of the hearts out will work to better the world until they somehow cannot. Whether it be international vs. domestic or issues that are well-known/not well-known, these people won't be found in your typical corporate-America office. They will be on the ground helping those affected by the worlds injustices, overseeing and designing the strategies to make global change and most importantly: making the world a better place for future generations even though they won't be around to see it.
2. Constant Use of Their Justice Lens/Mindset
Secondly, those who follow Mother Cabrini's legacy are usually always viewing the world with a justice lens and a justice mindset.
What does that mean?
It means they are often putting others before themselves and looking at the bigger picture instead of being stuck with tunnel vision. And these people definitely don't sweat the small stuff... unless it has big repercussions!
3. Will Be Later Deemed As "Pregnant In Soul"
A term I just learned in my philosophy class - people that capitalize and act on their Education of The Heart will leave the world pregnant in soul. Meaning that they will give birth to lasting legacies, mindful models, and inspiring ideas. Whether or not they choose to give birth to actual children, their souls will certainly have shaped those around them and beyond.
So how did I come to these conclusions?
My last spring break in college was spent doing service work with Campus Ministry in New Orleans and we spent four days working on a house that will eventually benefit a family affected by Hurricane Katrina. While many went to the beach or caught up on sleep, I decided to wake up at 6:30 a.m. each morning to serve as one piece in a very large puzzle.
The trip helped me reinforce my decision and career aspirations to do work in public relations within the nonprofits industry. At one time, I did want to spend my life going to a 9-5 job and spending my nights with family, but I've come to realize that I wasn't made for that.
I am going to help others who are in need, spend my life doing meaningful work, and ultimately make my mark on the world. While many can be deterred or turned off by ideas like these, it's not an option for me anymore. It's a calling. And I believe that Mother Cabrini would be proud of me as well as the many that have already followed her legacy and those who are going to follow.