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Dr. King’s Reflections on Social Emotions

During Tuesday’s Convocation message, I referenced an op ed piece in the December 29, 2017  New York Times by David Desteno, professor of psychology at Northeastern University. His piece argued for the human traits beyond willpower and grit that lead to self-improvement and a better life. He suggested that there are social emotions that sustain self/life improvement including: building stronger human bonds and relationships, exercising gratitude, showing more compassion, and acknowledging the skills and values of others as they influence our own lives.

In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s national holiday, please take some time to reflect on several of his noteworthy quotes in the context of these social emotions.

Stronger human bonds and relationships – behave as good partners

“We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.”


“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”


“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

Make people feel proud

“Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.”

I urge all of us to reflect, especially this weekend, on PVCC’s continued aspiration of positive social change by honoring and acting on Dr. King’s relentless commitment to civil and human rights.


PVCC Faculty and Staff – Thank You

Greetings Colleagues,

This fall semester we’ve successfully launched our 30th Anniversary Celebration activities, initiated work around the implementation of Guided Pathways, furthered our efforts to embed critical thinking across the curriculum, and substantially increased our outreach presence in the community.

For all of this good work – in addition to the daily efforts to bring learning alive and ensure student success – please accept my heartfelt thank you. My further thanks are shared in this Finals Week video message.

Best wishes for a restful and rejuvenating holiday break.

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