Academic journal article Review of Management

Spirituality in Education for Holistic Development

Academic journal article Review of Management

Spirituality in Education for Holistic Development

Article excerpt

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. (Kahlil Gibran, 1965, p. 28)


According to World Health Organization, India has become one of the highest suicide rates countries worldwide. The country's health ministry estimates that up to 120,000 people commit suicide each year and almost 40% of them are below the age of 30. Students are having relationship problems with parents, teachers and friends. They are arguing and fighting with parents and getting in trouble in school or with the law. Furnham, Badmin and Sneade (2002) found that female adolescents linked body image dissatisfaction with self; those who were more dissatisfied with their bodies had lower self-esteem. Now it is widely believed that the erratic behavior of youth as well as their incompetance to maintain good relationship with family, friends and the environment can be attributed to lack of spirituality in their education.

Dohrenwend and Dohrenwend (1981) suggested that spiritual support may be very beneficial to those experiencing high levels of stress because their psychological well-being is vulnerable. Maton (1989) found that spirituality was positively related to adjustment for high-stress students. Young et al., "a greater orientation to spirituality weakens the impact of negative life experiences on depression and on the onset of anxiety" (p. 54-55). There are evidences that spirituality and religiosity are positively related to physical and psychological well-being (Payne, Bergin, Bielema, & Jenkins, 1991; Perderson, 1998). Ingersoll (1998) produces 10 dimensions of spiritual wellness that can be summarized as "experience of divinity, meaning, connectedness with God and others, mystery or dealing with the unexplained, a sense of freedom, experience of spiritual rituals and practices, forgiveness, hope interests in increasing knowledge of self and other things, and being aware of the present moment".

Through spirituality students become empowered and realize that even though they have issues, stressors, and challenges, but they are not defined by these circumstances. This realization provides a pathway to greater peace, freedom of self-expression, increased manageability over the healing process and self-esteem. Each person's spirituality is greatly impacted by the community they are a part of and the relationships they are in.

The old adage that goes like "you can't teach old dog new tricks" applies to the teaching of spirituality and ethics. There is a belief that one gets his or her values and spiritual training or connection primarily from childhood experiences.

What is Spirituality?

The topic of spirituality in the work place is gaining importance among academicians as well as business professionals currently. Spirituality is extensively incorporated either tacitly or explicitly in public, private, for profit and not-for-profit organizations across the world. An awareness of the important role of spirituality is growing within the education system also as students are seeking for personal identity to give meaning to their lives in the fast paced world of the 21st century.

The word "spirituality" originated from a Latin word for breath, "spiritus," with the concept of enthusiasm, from the Greek "enthousiasmos," meaning "the God within". Myers and Sweeney (2005) define spirituality as "an awareness of a being or force that transcends the material aspects of life and gives a deep sense of wholeness or connectedness to the universe" (p. 20).

According to Myers (1990) spirituality is "a continuous search for purpose and meaning in life; an appreciation for depth of life, the expanse of the universe, and natural forces which operate; a personal belief system" (p. 11). Dehler and Welsh (2003) define spirituality at work as "a search of meaning, deeper self-knowledge or transcendence to a higher level" (p. …

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