M. Forster, Howards End (1910), ch. 22
E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910), ch. 22
‘One day when I was twenty-three or twenty-four this sentence seemed to form in my head, without my willing it, much as sentences form when we are half-asleep, ‘Hammer your thoughts into unity’. For days I could think of nothing else and for years I tested all I did by that sentence [...]” William Butler Yeats (cited in Frank Tuohy, Yeats, 1976, p.51 )
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION?
Like project one, this is a multimedia essay of at least fourteen hundred words (four pages or so) about your passions, focusing on the one passion that best connects you to something greater than yourself, best benefits others, and produces a leadership vision that changes the world for the better.
Like project one, you will be evaluated on your coherence (organization), hammering your thoughts and feelings into unity (flow), putting the best word in the best place, conciseness, and using punctuation to lead the reader.
This assignment is inspired specifically by the official "Core Purpose of the University" -- To transform lives for the benefit of society" -- and by its six core values: "Discovery, Freedom, Leadership, Individual Opportunity, and Responsibility."
The one we will be focusing on is "Leadership." The first step is to "find your passion."
To do this you may well have to accept the fact that you have many different passions. To achieve unity you will need to choose just one of these passions or at least just one cluster of related passions. You can mention your other passions in the beginning of the essay, but will need to narrow the focus soon to the passion[s] that connect you to something greater (see below*) and enable you to write the most coherent and unified essay at this time in your life.
To make the transition from multiple passions to one, you would be well advised to quote from the selection from How Can I Help? in the course anthology which discusses multiple selves and the Witness that integrates them all.
THEN YOU ARE TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE ANTHOLOGY IN THE ESSAYS "YOUR PERSONAL VISION" AND "DISCOVERING THE LEADER IN YOU."
TO SEE THE CONNECTION WITH FEELINGS AND PASSIONS SEE THE ESSAY "LEADERSHIP AND E.Q."
*CONNECTING WITH SOMETHING GREATER THAN YOURSELF:
HAVING PRODUCED A ROUGH DRAFT FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS, CONSIDER THESE POSSIBILITIES:
This is an essay in which you are to discover and communicate, first of all, what you are most passionate about, and thus what your pilgrimage is, and perhaps what truth[s] you seek and/or have found that will set you free.
As the image of the scallop shell below the motto on the tower reminds us, particularly important are pilgrimage goals that can endow you with a compelling vision that inspires others to follow you. Hence especially valuable are passions that tap into that which is greater than the self, passions that enable you to make a contribution to society that can be thought of as your legacy when you are gone.
Here are some prompts that may be useful
Consider to what extent you have transcended the accidents of being born in a particular place and time, to what extent you have molded your own character, finding your own truths that set you free. For example, what you would say to a visitor if you were asked 'What is your dream?'
In other words, if your life were to end now what would the torch represent that you would pass on to the next generation.
Specifically, what would you, as the old cowboy in the sculpture, Generations, in front of the Texas Exes, say to the next generation.
Now, focusing on your passions and perhaps one or more of these unifying themes,
“Hammer your thoughts into unity"
As you compose this essay, you will be hammering your self into unity. The word "compose" connects "pose," that is "to place," to "con" ("together"), and its root meaning is thus "to place together," "To put together (parts or elements) so as to make up a whole" (O.E.D.). As Newman puts it, your mind takes a" connected view of old and new, past and present, far and near, and ... has an insight into the influence of all these one on another; without which there is no whole, and no centre. It possesses the knowledge, not only of things, but also of their mutual and true relations." Such a mind "makes every thing in some sort lead to every thing else; it would communicate the image of the whole to every separate portion, till that whole becomes in imagination like a spirit, every where pervading and penetrating its component parts, and giving them one definite meaning."
SOME EXAMPLES OF FRESHMAN PASSION ESSAYS: KAJAL, AVNI and NIKKI: Music Therapy to Heal Others; CHARLOTTE and JENNY: Saving the Environment; DANA: Saving Animals; MARY and AUSTYN and DANIELLE: Helping Children; HANNAH and LOGAN:Helping Children and the Mentally Disabled;;JOHN: Passion for Science;JULIE: Abolishing Female Infanticide in China ;JULIE P : Helping the Homeless;MARGARET: Connecting through Compassion ;WILL and KRISTEN : Helping Abused Children; RUSS: Environmentally Friendly Architecture; TYLER: Healing Broken Bones; Alexandra ; Chetna; Emily; Law; Megan G. ; Pallavi:Compassion in Medicine.