Sending Love into the Universe

By Jenah Schwabel

Nothing warms the hearts of others, like the random acts of kindness.  Six students who are a part of the Hilbert Franciscan class were assigned a project to teach their class the meaning of compassion and how it is a part of our everyday lives. Compassion is one of the eight values the college strongly stands by.

On March 21, students instructed the class to decorate rocks with positive, uplifting messages, and then place them in random places around the world, such as a favorite hiking trail, in the sand at the beach, or right here on campus.  The rocks were known as Random Acts of Kindness Rocks.  Designed to bring happiness to someone who may be encountering a hardship in life, the goal was to inspire others as well as recruit every person who stumbles upon them to join the pursuit of inspiring others through small acts of kindness.

One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, and even their life.  After classmates finished the rocks, they were taken to Wanaka beach- a park located close to campus. While on social media, a friend stumbled across a follower who was touched by the rocks that were left on the beach by a Hilbert student.

Compassion is defined as a heartfelt concern for another person’s suffering or need, accompanied by action to help better the situation.  Compassion without action is just observation.

Throughout students’ education here at Hilbert College, students are required to complete a religion course, to help embrace Catholic Franciscan heritage and its values. As for a group of Hilbert students, they wanted to share this message with their classmates when assigned their project.

The Franciscanism course is taught by Hilbert professor Marne Griffin and Dr. Amy Smith, and is aimed at giving students the opportunity to truly engage in the importance of Franciscan values.  The course teaches students to become informed citizens committed to serving and strengthening their communities.  Students are taught to embrace the traditions of St. Francis which include respect, service, hope, vision, joy, integrity, compassion, and peace.

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