Emotional education through the season of Advent

In The Other Education (NY Times Opinion, November 26, 2009), David Brooks comments:

For reasons having to do with the peculiarities of our civilization, we pay a great deal of attention to our scholastic educations, which are formal and supervised, and we devote much less public thought to our emotional educations, which are unsupervised and haphazard. This is odd, since our emotional educations are much more important to our long-term happiness and the quality of our lives.

Bruce Springsteen serves as one of Brooks’ professors of second education and he enjoyed passing along this mentor to his 15 year old daughter via a Baltimore, MD, concert experience with 10,000 other disciples. He reflects on the process:

In fact, we all gather our own emotional faculty — artists, friends, family and teams. Each refines and develops the inner instrument with a million strings.

Who are your emotional faculty? How do they intersect with your educational faculty?  Do they inhabit two different spheres and/or stories?  Would you equate emotional faculty with spiritual faculty?

As we’re a few days into Advent, let us remember that the Father sent His Son, the very Word of God, to be one of us, among us in birth, life, and death.  He alone brings true Life, Meaning, and Truth through example, Word, new Life, Spirit, and union with His Body the Church. Now matter how great our heroes on the artistic, athletic, familial, lecture, or research platform, let us first turn to Christ Jesus for our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual education.

Note 1:  Additional Springsteen-U2 performances can be found on-line, including I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (Live at Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame) and Stand By Me [Bono seems to have broken his arm and needs a good friend to play his guitar (Live In Philadelphia 9.25.1987)].

Note 2:  Scot McKnight has come conversation regarding this article at Did you get educated by Bruce Springsteen?


12/5/2012 8:15 AM Note from the editor: For ESN’s developing Advent archive click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry (D.Min., May 2019). To God be the glory!

More Posts - Website

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.