By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Personality Counts--for Individuals and Institutions

There are many very intelligent and skilled individuals. There are many fine educational institutions. But there can be, and there is, more. It's something called personality. Without personality, a skilled individual becomes a drag to be avoided. Without personality, an institution becomes a burden to flee.

But, what is personality? Well, I mean a desirable personality: not arrogant, but humble; not cold, but warm; not judgmental or hypercritical, but encouraging and relentlessly positive; not closed in, but open to others.

Life is short. Do not be surprised if those of us who profoundly realize that want more than mere skill and are not impressed by mere skill or prestige when it comes to either individuals or institutions. Do not be surprised that wisdom teaches that, where there is no desirable personality, one should look for other pastures, personally and professionally. Some people claim to look for substance over style. In the best, the substance and the style merge. In the best, style does not mislead because it reflects a substance that does not disappoint.

(Images, left to right, of FDR and philosopher José Ortega y Gasset are in public domain; image of Francis under Creative Commons License)