Caritas Veritas: ‘Good Life’

October 4, 2016

By Justin Dyra

Eight members of Dominican’s psychology honors society, Psi Chi, pondered what it means to live a “good life” in front of a packed Martin Recital Hall during the annual Caritas Veritas Symposium on September 27.

Psychology Professor Tina-Taylor Ritzler fronted the presentation and the students involved were all members of Psi Chi. Marco Meneses, Psi Chi president, explained how his service to others has given him a different perspective on living a “good life.”

Before coming to Dominican, Marco was unsure of what his major was going to be. He took several general education classes but none seemed to peak his interest. However, after taking a psychology class his life was transformed and his passion for learning intensified.

His love for psychology inspired him to go out and serve others, eventually becoming involved in several service projects. Through helping people with special needs and eventually becoming a part of the Big Brother Big Sister program, Meneses pondered what drew him to his service. He realized that, for him, the “good life” comes with helping others.

Most of the members of Psi Chi were also involved in Community Based Learning. This form of service and their own personal experiences shaped these individuals into adults ready to live a fulfilling and “good” life.

Vice President of Psi Chi Noelle Flores explained how her parents always told her to try and live a “good life”. Although she was born here in the United States, she had to move to Mexico and lived there for most of her childhood.

Eventually she moved back, unable to speak fluent English. Flores explained the hardships she faced due to her inability to communicate well with other students.

“Most of seventh grade made me want to go back to Mexico,” Flores said.  

Flores explained how hard it was to get respect. Longing for equal status, she struggled to find an identity.

Flores overcame the communication barrier and developed a strong identity as she went into high school and eventually came to Dominican.

“Realize who you are,” she said.

Flores believed that identity has a lot to do with the “good life” and that knowing who you are helps bring a balance to your life.

Professor Ritzler and the members of Psi Chi closed with a message to the audience that summarized their collective work: Service and balance give you the mental tools to go out and tackle problems that impact the community. Through communal and personal efforts, everyone can live a “good life”.