As I ponder the Balanced Man program, I am inevitably led to the idea of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics holds the concept of excellence as being fundamental to a good life. Our goal according to those who practice virtue ethics is, to borrow the Greek word eudaimonia, a life that flourishes due to moral virtue and wisdom. The contemporary philosopher Alasdair Macintyre wrote that all virtue ethics can be reduced to the the following questions:
Who am I?
Who ought I become?
How ought I get there?
Seniors, you have learned the tools of critical thinking and introspection here at Moravian to help you answer the first two questions. As you leave your college days behind and embark on the next phase of your life, remember the Balanced Man program. Periodically ask these questions and apply the tools you have learned here. These actions will form the moral and ethical rudder for your life.
For those of you who will continue and be back next semester, you too should ask yourself these questions. However, there is another challenge you have in front of you: building this fraternity chapter and making it a force for good on this campus and in this city. Gary Cokins, a foremost thinker about business organizations states there are three other questions members of any organization must answer as they move forward and try to better their it:
You will all notice the requirements of the last two questions in each set require action. Seniors, you must act on your life plans and to steer the ship of your life toward its destination. Underclassman, you have this challenge AND another one: organizing and acting to build this chapter.
I make a call to action for this fraternity. It is wonderful to talk about recruiting, but there must be an action plan everyone must participate in. For instance, It is everyone’s job to sell in any successful organization. Similarly, there has to be a game plan for being involved in and giving back to the local community. To paraphrase a very famous man, without action talk results in each of us being only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
As you leave for the summer, and a well earned break, think about these questions. Do the introspection and analysis the Balanced Man Program requires. At the same time, think about what you need to do to actualize your goals. As you plan for your leadership retreat, I ask you to concentrate on your action plan. Think big. Be bold. Develop a game plan and a strategy map with measurable milestones to get from here to there. There is a large support system available to you here at Moravian. If you need help planning and organizing, your advisors are here to assist you. You only have to ask.
Seniors once again, I wish you the best of luck. Remember what it takes to be a Balanced Man. That framework will be a guiding light to you for the rest of your life. I wish you eudaimonia for the rest of your lives. To those of you returning next year, I look forward to working with you, continuing to build an organization you should and will be proud of. During the summer, don’t be a stranger. I will be happy to hear from you.
For information on the Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Program, please visit: