By Bill Peel
In “I Don’t Have a Job. I Have a Higher Calling” (WSJ, Business & Tech, Feb. 25), Rachel Feintzeig captured the spirit of a LeTourneau University education. A few examples:
Bob Walker, CEO of Walker Mowers (1963 LeTourneau engineering grad) wants his employees to know that they do more than design and manufacture lawn mowers. They make beautiful places that contribute to human flourishing.
Paul Abbott, CEO of Covington Aircraft, (1967 LeTourneau aviation grad) says they don’t just rebuild airplane engines, they get people safely home to their loved ones.
Carly Robinson (2014 LeTourneau education grad and Texas Student Teacher of the Year) believes she is preparing a generation of responsible leaders, not just teaching fourth graders in Hutto,Texas to read and write.
What if more people saw their work and the work of others as a high calling? If loan processors saw themselves shelter providers and dream fulfillers, not just paper pushers? If sanitation workers saw themselves as vital contributors to the community’s physical welfare and ability to flourish, instead of just trash collectors? Such perspective could contribute to the physiological well-being of America’s workers as well as their physical well-being.According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (July 2013), individuals whose lives do not have “eudaimonic well-being” – an orientation toward something bigger than the self — have the same gene expression patterns in their immune cells as people enduring chronic adversity.
As educators, we have a higher calling to prepare students not only for careers in business, engineering, aviation, teaching, healthcare and other lines of work by helping them see the greater calling in their chosen career. In doing so we will improve the physical and emotional well-being of America’s workforce and our economy.
Copyright 2014 by Center for Faith and Work. Images: CFW.