Nathan Ball, Director of Development and Partnerships at L’Arche USA, takes a moment to reflect on the importance of soft skills.
With 2017 revenues of 24 billion dollars, Alibaba is one of the world’s largest internet companies. Jack Ma is its founder and Executive Chairman.
At this year’s World Economic Forum, Jack spoke about the formation of young people. “To gain success a person will need high IQ… and if you want to be respected you need high LQ – the IQ of love. If we do not change the way we teach, 30 years from now we’re going to be in trouble”. According to Jack, young people need to be taught “soft skills” like independent thinking, values, believing, team-work, and care for others.
In 2000, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, introduced “well-educated solidarity” as the new standard for Jesuit education for the 21st century. Tomorrow’s “whole person,” he thought, cannot be mature or complete without an educated awareness of global society and culture with which to contribute socially and generously in the real world. In his vision, the goal of the university is to form a “whole person of solidarity for the real world.” How does this happen? By “letting the gritty reality of this world into the lives of young people, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering, and engage it constructively.”
Almost from its inception in 1964 L’Arche has been a “University of the Heart”. L’Arche is a gritty reality where young people, often newly graduated, can develop character and learn how to love and serve. In L’Arche they discover how a community devoted to the development of mutual friendships between people with and without disabilities can provide a powerful context for personal growth and transformation.
Do you know someone who wants to learn about relationships and develop a well-educated solidarity? Does this person want to contribute socially and generously in the real world? Do they want to develop a high LQ… the IQ of Love? Send them to L’Arche for a year or two.
It’s what we do.
Originally published on L’Arche USA