Activity 2: Forum Posting — Stories and the Meaning of Life
Stories are everywhere. We watch them on film and television. We read them in books. We tell them to each other in both oral and written form. Stories are a major part of the human experience. This learning activity asks you to think about the purpose of telling stories, especially the stories that we tell about ourselves. Both Bateson and McAdams suggest that the way we narrate our lives influences how we understand our lifes purpose. The following will help you determine the role of narrative in constituting the self and cultivating a meaningful life.
After completing the Bateson and McAdams essays, viewof St. Ignatius response to his own vocational crisis. Then, post a response to the following:
1. In the preface to the Bateson reading, the editors (2006) suggest that our lives are a kind of improvisational art form that involves imaginative ability coupled with discovery and invention (p. 460). What do you think this means?
2. Bateson suggests that there are multiple versions of a life story and that it is possible for multiple stories to be true. How did you see the notion operative in the St. Ignatius life, and in what ways have you seen this at work in your own life?
3. McAdams research suggests that the highly generative adults believe that suffering is redemptive. They tend to narrate their lives around the trope that they have been fortunate and should therefore use their lives to help alleviate the suffering of the less fortunate. Do you see this trope in St. Ignatius story? Does it fit with your own experience?
Please post your response in the Discussion Forum. Along with your posting, respond to at least one other students posting. Your response should encourage a dialogue similar to that of a classroom discussion. Your post should be substantive, reflecting your critical grasp of the reading material and incorporate your own viewpoint. It will be graded according to the.
Activity 3: Journaling/Unity What Makes Our Life Significant?
Bren Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. We humans are constantly propelled by moving tides of motives, aspirations, and doubts as we go about making our decisions. Which wind will we allow to fill our sails? By paying attention to what we are experiencing, and learning from it, we can grow in the skill of discernment.
Watch Brown, B. TED Talk, The power of vulnerability.
After watching the Ted Talk video, reflect on the concept of vulnerability. Reflect on the following: How does this help us discern what will be a meaningful and fulfilling life?
Write a reflection in your journal on your experience, insights, questions, or musings on the journaling activity for this week. Post a short except or summary in the Discussion Forum for your peers.