In recent days, I have found myself engaged in a series of invigorating conversations with many members of the Escuela community around the idea of doing little things well. The idea of working at Escuela de Guadalupe with such a passion for excellence as it applies to our own students, that it could someday spill over into inspiring other educators or schools; but always with our “eye on the ball,” always focusing on delivering the very best education and formation that we can to the children and families in our immediate environment, today; quality over quantity.
I was online the other day when I came across a Latin phrase that captures this very well: “non multa sed multu.”
“NOT MANY THINGS, BUT MUCH”
“A Latin proverb adds a spiritual dimension to the point: non multa sed multum, or “not many things but much.” Jesuits didn’t coin that phrase, though I’ve heard it attributed to them, probably because its spirit so closely aligns with other Jesuit ideals.
The quality with which a work is done—the “muchness” of it—can be more important than the sheer quantity of tasks a person completes. What value, for example, that a social worker counsels fifty people a day if each feels like a processed can rolling through an assembly line? Or what value is there in people parroting hundreds of prayers without real conscious engagement? We earlier quoted Archbishop Oscar Romero’s take on this theme: “We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and do it very well.” Or as Mother Teresa put it: “We cannot do great things on this earth; we can only do little things with great love.” Excerpted from Heroic Living by Chris Lowney
In my first two months here I have been especially inspired by Escuela’s staff and faculty who embody the idea of non multa sed multu with their laser-focused dedication to our mission of serving the next generation of compassionate leaders and change makers.
I would love to hear about how you’ve experienced non multa sed multum during your time as part of the Escuela community! Shoot me a quick note here, swing by my office, or catch me in the hallway. (This is the kind of fuel that I run on, folks!)
As always, thank you for your ongoing support of Escuela de Guadalupe and the children it serves. On behalf of all of us, best wishes for a very Happy Easter!
Paul F. Dull