Prerequisites: Member of Honors College.
Soc/Beh Sci or Hum Exploration
This student-centered course looks at kindness through the lenses of psychology, neuroscience, literature, ethics, spirituality and beyond. At the heart of the course is the development of a daily meditative practice which cultivates a personal experience of kindness and nurtures the students’ own happiness (scientific studies have shown such practices to increase life satisfaction and reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms). Students will have thoughtful and informed conversations about values and ethical engagement. Proceeding from both their academic study—and personal cultivation—of kindness, students will be encouraged to answer (for themselves) the kinds of questions posed by author George Saunders in his now-viral 2013 Syracuse University commencement address: “How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional?” Students will also create their own personal and meaningful projects to manifest kindness in themselves, their communities and the world at large.