Thursday, August 27, 2009

"What Feeds Your Soul?"...College Students Answer

I'm back in school again (but not as a student)! The fall semester started on Tuesday at Iona College and I am teaching two sections of "Religion In the Contemporary World," a course that explores seven of the world's major religions.

I asked the question above to my students on the first day of class. I have about 80 students in the two classes and I received about 75 different answers. Some of the answers: working as a counselor at a summer camp, buying my first car, skydiving, hanging out with friends, participating in a "cancer walk" to raise money, traveling to Costa Rica, tutoring a special needs child, visiting Turkey, surfing, going to the beach, going on a work trip to Louisiana, and going to Las Vegas!

As you can see there was great variety in the answers. However, there was a common thread as well: nearly everything mentioned fell into the "active spirituality" category. Maybe it was because these were mostly active college freshman answering, but nobody mentioned traditional soul-feeding practices like prayer, meditation or worship (actually, one student said he went to church for the first time in several years).

My point is that, while what feeds our souls is personal and unique, doing can trump being when it comes to spiritual nourishment.

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