Mindful of our future

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.

These biblical principles have no attachment to time, but endure its test.

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.




  1. says

    I’ve found that being ethical helps build a strong base of dear friends that will stick with me through thick and thin. Being un-ethical attracts people that will come and go with the tide; one can never really rely on this group.

    I’m loving buiding on the firm foundation of friends that I can trust to do and think righly and who will appreciate those same qualities in me too.

  2. Sharla Allard says

    Yes, it startled me somewhat when I read “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” and found so many references to the value of ethics. Makes sense, I guess, since Jesus was a good man and an honest carpenter before he began his awesome healing ministry. So I’m trying to be more honest when people aren’t looking–like at a movie theatre when someone forgets to take your ticket and you’re tempted to go see another movie for free!

  3. Dave says

    Interesting, it always amazes me that people can say that they will put off being ethical for the future. If we look around us, there are myriad examples of results of what happens when you do that. See the financial collapse of 2008, just to name one that has impacted us all. The politicians that have sold out to bribes, see Mass…what the heck…EVERYWHERE! This is the price for keeping up with your peers?? Another statement by Mary Baker Eddy fits it well to this point, she says, “It were better to be exposed to every plague on earth than to endure the cumulative effects of a guilty conscience. (Science and Health, p.405).