President Talks About Giving Back for ‘Keep Learning’ Alumni Series
Last Friday, students, faculty and alumni braved bitter hailstorms in Beirut to hear LAU President Joseph Jabbra make a call for altruism as part of the LAU Alumni "Keep Learning" series. It was the second lecture in the program this year.
"Service is the key to personal success and satisfaction in life," the president expounded. “Providing value, help, and support to others will provide more spiritual, psychological, financial, and other benefits than any self-improvement concept out there.”
The president explained that serious obstacles prevent us from realizing our human potential. Determining a clear purpose in life, he advised, is the most common stumbling block on the daunting road to altruism.
“If purpose guides your body, soul, and entire behavior, there is a possibility you might be a Gandhi," he postulated. “If you allow your ego to stand in your way, chances are you will become a megalomaniac, another Hitler."
Individuals bereft of purpose descend into contemptible stagnancy, he said. In this predicament, “we are no longer focused and we become indecisive. We begin to have doubts about ourselves and our existence” Jabbra explained.
The talk and its subject matter were very well received by the crowd of about one hundred alumni, faculty and staff on hand.
“A lot of people think they have to give just because it’s the right thing to do, but it is important to realize that [giving] builds your character and makes you a better person,” observed Bob Hollback LAU’s Associate Vice President for Development who is based in New York but attended the event while visiting campus.
“Dr. Jabbra explained how to turn the idea of service into a tangible reality,” raved Abbas Sibai, a 2008 Finance and Social Work graduate who currently heads an educational NGO. “It’s not just about moving garbage from the street or helping an elderly person, but how to do this service passionately and professionally,” he added. “The notion of service is one of the pillars, not only of the philosophy, but also of the mission, of LAU.”