Virtual Life Calling lecture comes to Ashland University


Mason Savoia

Quote from the lecture presentation.

Mason Savoia

The online lecture, “Do The Next Right Thing: Purpose in Times of Uncertainty” was recently held online for Ashland University students and faculty on Jan. 28 via Zoom.

Dr. Christine Whelan, a Wisconsin Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, hosted the webinar lecture with questions of morality and hardship. Whelan wants people to put themselves in a position to question their lives as well as the pain and possibilities they all face as individuals. 

With COVID-19 putting many people in a lockdown, or a state of protection in the midst of the pandemic, Whelan said  people should try to find resilience in difficult situations.

The lecture featured the concepts of purpose and living through a pandemic and President Carlos Campo mediated questions during the lecture. Whelan covered purpose, social pressure, looking forward and understanding what is ahead. Whelan also discussed the basic needs and self-actualization. She covered the ideas of values, gifts and impact groups. These concepts revolve around the mind and what sort of behaviors people, especially college students, have developed amid the pandemic and lockdown the nation has faced.

“Purpose is a big word, right?” Whelan asked the audience. It’s one of those things that we think about late at night.” 

The speaker discussed how people could potentially turn purpose into action. Goals are the main focus of the purpose’s action Whalen said. She  explained things such as anxiety and fear will try to keep people from their goals, but we are able to manage achieving things by accepting our anxious tendencies.

“I wanna know whether any of it works. Does it work for me? Can it work for you?” Whelan addressed in her lecture in regards to theories of behavior. Whelan tackles going about acedia, survivor’s guilt and pandemic fatigue. Acceptance and commitment theory are a way to challenge those anxieties and fears.

Whelan said “Imagery and poetry relating to emotional triumph and purpose rising up when people can succeed were also represented in the presentation. Whelan emphasized benefiting others in the future outside of ourselves.

“Rather than thinking about retirement, we should be thinking ‘What’s next?’” Whelan said. “Saying ‘yes’ to opportunity [because it] is where good things come [from].”