We’ve been looking at the benefits of spiritual growth and engagement from a study called “Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives,” What applies to students can be aptly applied to all of us because to be a healthy growing individual requires a life-long commitment to learning and growth. Stagnation in a real sense equals un-health or anti-health. Today we look at two more from the research.
Charitable Involvement includes activities such as participating in community service, donating money to charitable organization (such as a local church), and can include helping friends with personal problems. These activities are associated with positive and healthy personal life experiences.
In particular, donating money to a charitable organization is positively associated with growth in most religious and spiritual qualities and with virtually all of the other outcomes of your life: in college it represents better grades, leadership development, intellectual self-confidence, psychological well-being, commitment to promoting racial understanding, growth in appreciation of other races and cultures, and satisfaction with college – in your career it has similar ramifications.
An Ecumenical Worldview reflects a global sense of who you are in relationship that transcends ethnocentrism and egocentrism. It indicates the extent to which you are interested in different religious traditions, seeking to understand other countries and cultures, and sensing a strong connection to humanity. As a Christian, for instance, you recognize that God loves all of humanity (John 3:16) and so there is an intrinsic value to all people and we accept others as loved by God. We also believe that all of life is interconnected and that love is at the root of all faith.
People with a strong Ecumenical Worldview see the world in an interconnected whole and feel a personal connection with others no matter what their race of faith might be. Students’ When we value diversity, and explore questions of meaning and purpose our Ecumenical Worldview is strengthened and we are able to interact cross-racially and participate in a charitable way.