At Gravitas, “Character Before Career” isn’t just a slogan. It’s a way of prioritizing the values that are embodied throughout the program. Your career, your work, and your financial future are all important. But they are not, and they will never be, the most important things about your life.
The easiest way to see this is to consider the fact that a person can find success in all these areas and yet still fail to live a flourishing life. Some of the most talented, successful, and wealthy people in the world are unhappy and unfulfilled. Why? No doubt, there are many reasons. But one of these reasons is a piece of ancient wisdom: to live a flourishing life, you have to be a certain kind of person—that is, a person with a certain kind of character. Only a virtuous person can live a truly flourishing life.
This is very difficult for modern people to believe. We’re encouraged by our cultures to believe that the key to happiness and “the good life” is acquiring lots of money, power, or fame. For many people who accept and internalize this idea, the realization—too late in life—that none of these brings lasting happiness and fulfillment is disillusioning.
At Gravitas, we believe the most important thing in life is to become the person you were meant to be. Is it a strange idea that there’s something—someone—you are meant to be? We don’t think so. It’s a central tenet of the Judeo-Christian tradition that human beings are creatures made for a certain “end” or purpose. We are made for communion—for loving relationships of friendship and intimacy—with God and with one another. But deep and lasting communion is possible only among people who are faithful, loving, honest, generous, merciful, (etc.)—in a word, people who are virtuous.
The character formation course at Gravitas is designed to help you understand this ancient wisdom and to guide you in laying a foundation of virtuous practice. The course is comprised of daily lessons that will introduce you to key ideas of the Christian virtue ethics tradition, and assignments that will help you to put these ideas into practice. The overarching aim of the course—and the overarching aim of the Gravitas program—is to help shape you into the kind of person you were meant to be: the kind of person who will live a truly flourishing life.