This past week I attended a talk by Dr. Howard Gardner at Framingham State College. His comments keyed off of his latest book, “Five Minds for the Future” in which he describes the types of “minds” needed for forward progress and innovation.
Dr. Gardner is author to over 20 books and a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His audience was largely educators, which I was interested in since my children’s elementary school adopted his famous theory of teaching to “multiple intelligences.” This teaching principle acknowledged that children have varied ways of learning and processing information, so teachers would offer a variety of ways to complete assignments to help all students feel successful in school. I saw that first-hand with my children.
His 5 “minds”:
1. Disciplined mind
2. Synthesizing mind
3. Creating mind
4. Respectful mind
5. Ethical mind
This last point–the ethical mind–interested me most. And apparently it’s interested Dr. Gardner the most, too, since he’s been working to understand the implications of ethics since the mid-90s.
Among all of one’s collective accomplishments, being ethical is perhaps the most vital. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “character is more important than intellect.”
In one study Dr. Gardner interviewed a select group of the most promising ofAmerica’s youth–well-educated, headed for good jobs and promising careers, top scores on standardized tests, etc. When it came to understanding and practicing ethics in business they all acknowledged what it means to be a “good worker” and “do the right thing,” but they didn’t believe they would be able to compete with their peers if they did that, so they preferred to put off being ethical “for the future.”
Dr. Gardner points to the importance of following the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule as basics to practicing mindfulness today and in our future.
What does all of this have to do with health? The woman who wrote Science and Health, forging the way to a deeper understanding of God as the one Mind in the teachings of Christian Science–and who has inspired my practice of spirituality–wrote:
“Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving” and “God is His own infinite Mind and expresses all.”
-Mary Baker Eddy.