Before drinking lemonade on the deck, we are reposting our most popular July blog (2019).
Philosopher Josef Pieper wrote Leisure: The Basis of Culture in 1948, and seventy years later his insights still reward us. In a culture that enshrines work over play, we are tempted, Pieper said, to reduce all life to purposeful activity energetically pursued. But human flourishing requires not just effort and socially useful action, but the ability to marvel, behold, and spiritually celebrate. Leisure is a step beyond the work-a-day world and feeds a quiet wellspring from which we live.
Watching the sunset in a sea both violet and amber, listening to the distant caw of gulls and waves lapping the shore, drinking in a star-studded sky at the park as a symphony swells around us, fishing in a quiet pond, meeting the dew in your garden in an early morning walk, waking in a tent on a mountain summit. Or reading poetry beneath an old oak tree, dancing unobserved, reveling in the cool breeze through an open window as you gaze on a beloved cityscape.
Leisure is about allowing oneself to be awash in life’s goodness, celebrating the inherent beauty and mystery of our lives and our world. Philosophers assure us that leisure – which seems to insinuate itself to us naturally in July -- is not the same as idleness. It is the quiet celebration of the world and life in which we find ourselves. If work involves effort, leisure involves openness to awe. This summer, whether your leisure involves quiet reading under a tree, days at the shore, concerts in the park, or fireworks in the night sky, we wish you the joy of an uplifted spirit open to festivity.
June is a month of commencements, and on June 30, 2022 we at Core Virtues will celebrate ours! With pats on the back for work well done and eyes trained on the future, the Core Virtues Foundation joyfully announces new stewardship for the Core Virtues program. We are delighted to transition our work of nearly thirty years to the University of Dallas (UD), where Professor Jeffrey Lehman will be spearheading its ongoing development and implementation.
This transfer is borne of mutual admiration, great synergy, and months of conversation. UD is the only university in the country to offer a Master’s degree in Classical Education. The Core Virtues program (piloted in 1992) predates the burgeoning classical school movement, but shares many of its goals. Classical schools are distinguished for their commitment to academic rigor and virtues-based character education. The University of Dallas, through its Saint Ambrose Center and its Center for the Arts of Liberty, is a robust resource for classical schools and assists a network of K-12 schools that share these goals. Now part of the university’s educational toolkit, the Core Virtues program will offer K-6 schools in their network and beyond an intentional and uplifting approach to character education.
We at the Core Virtues Foundation sought out and welcomed this opportunity for the future of Core Virtues. We have strong confidence in the talents of key people at the University to advance this work. In the years ahead, we foresee an army of energetic faculty and graduate students at UD, working to expand both the reach of the program and the range of its literary offerings.
Core Virtues schools and teachers, who rely on the regularly updated Core Virtues website, should fear no loss. The website will be strongly supported and advanced in its new stewardship, and eventually will be fully integrated into the U.D. platform. Until such time, however, the website will maintain its current address, configuration and accessibility. All the resources you’ve come to rely on will still be found here, and key members of the Foundation will be working with UD to assist in a smooth transition.
This springboard program, building character “one story at a time” as our tagline announces, is designed to inspire all children to know and love the good through the structured reading of quality literature. Our new home will ensure that Core Virtues lives on. We hope you’ll join us in tossing hats in the air at this Core Virtues-University of Dallas commencement.