Friday, December 5, 2008

Core Values

My Alma Mater has for the last ten-plus years been re-defining itself, and hence establishing itself for bigger and better things. It has been an impressive transformation to witness. But without transgressing into the change itself I wanted rather to emphasize one of their chosen tactics. The school, a 120 year old Catholic University, is rooted in the Benedictine tradition. As part of their new 'mission and goals statement' they formulated their core values based on those of the Benedictines. Specifically, they are as follows:
Excellence; Community; Respect; Personal Development; Personal Stewardship; Integrity.

I have thought about how these apply to those of us interested in personal and spiritual growth. As an organization's core values they take a different meaning than those of an individual. This is what they mean to me individually:

Excellence: Seek excellence in all you do. Look for it in creation. Always strive to be better. Revere it and bless it wherever you encounter it.
Community: We all have different communities we are engaged in. These should be valued and nurtured as one values and nurtures oneself.
Respect: Respect all living things. Respect other people, their feelings, their property, their values, their culture.
Personal Development: This is the biggie. This is what this is all about. Personal development is mental, physical, and spiritual. And there are no lines dividing these categories.
Personal Stewardship: We have all been blessed to varying degrees. We should be thankful for our blessings and good stewards of our gifts. As we do these we open the door for more and greater blessings.
Integrity: There is an old Quaker saying, "let your yea be yea, and your no be no". This sums it up. I should be as good as my word and my word should be as good as I can be.