Marina McKeown Dr. Ellis
iExamen #2 3/14/13
The iExamen challenge to only say what is kind, true, and useful at first did not pose a challenge to me. I expected the day to follow in a similar manner to my normal routine and conversations. I was the most nervous in regards to talking too much as a result of being consciously aware of only saying kind, true, and useful things. Upon reflection of my iExamen experience I was able to connect the importance of kindness, honesty, and usefulness to various Jesuit core values. The values I especially related to were academic excellence, a focus on the whole person, honesty and integrity, diversity, and community.
The iExamen experience to only say what is kind, true, and useful applies to the Loyola University Jesuit values. The first core value, academic excellence, regards the “the pursuit of academic excellence includes promoting a love for learning, discovery, and integration across a wide range of disciplines and interests.” I think that in order to pursue an education and discover new things across a diverse range of topics it is important to be honest, recognize what is useful, and be open to new experiences through kindness and consideration for new things. During my observations of my methods of communicating I realized I was more confident to answer in class when I realized that it would more beneficial or useful to ask a question to participate than to be embarrassed of speaking in front of my classmates.
I noticed that useful and true comments applied to the value of focusing on the whole person, ‘to the classical ideal of “a sound mind in a sound body”’. When asked by friends if we should go to the FAC for “Absolution” I responded honestly with yes, although I could have told a white lie and claimed to be too busy. Instead, it is important to be healthy and to stay in shape. In being honest to myself I was able to work towards a “sound mind in a sound body”.
“…Insistence on integrity and honesty has been seen in Jesuit education as a vital element in caring for and educating the whole person…”. The core value of honesty and integrity as practiced through the iExamen is part of the Jesuit values foundation. Honesty is vital and beneficial in every aspect of life. I recognized during my experience that honesty, as cliché as it sounds, is always the best policy. Honesty helps avoid future problems that arise from misleading information, and help build character. Although it can be hard to always be honest, it is the best course of action in the long run. Instead of lying and pretending to make lunch plans later in the week I knew I would have to cancel on anyway, I was honest and said I wouldn’t be able to. The upfront honesty made me realize I wasn’t a bad person just because this week didn’t work for me, and it helped me avoid the stress of canceling on a friend later in the week.
In regards to diversity, the “Jesuits have been noted for their openness to and close observation of cultures other their own…”, kindness, honesty, usefulness all apply to the diversity aspect. Also it is closely related to community, to “encourage open sharing of ideas and values…”. In order to be open to new experiences and cultures it is important to look at the world and act with kindness. Also honesty within a person is vital to make the most of experiencing a new culture, to have a useful experience. I believe honesty, kindness, and usefulness are important traits to practice especially while I look forward to traveling abroad my junior year.
The iExamen challenge to speak kindly, truthfully, and useful comments helped increase my awareness of the importance of the Jesuit values. Although I like to think I usually am polite, kind, honest, and make comments that are beneficially to society, I am completely aware that I mess up and make mistakes. I noticed my communication differed in that I had fewer slip-ups of saying something that violated the iExamen conditions. Also I was aware of my connecting such simple qualities to the bigger picture of a Jesuit education and being able to share useful information, through kindness and honesty will benefit my education as person as a whole.