The values of T.I.T.A.N.S., as today’s Trinity students celebrate and practice each week, are to be Trustworthy, Intentional, Tough, Altruistic, Neighborly and Sincere. To dive deeper into each of these concepts, student leaders have set aside three Fridays this year to hear from both a student and a faculty member about the meaning of these concepts in their own lives.
On Friday, November 2, students gathered in the Perkinson Arts Center Theatre to hear the second of this year’s “First Friday Speaker Series,” sponsored by the Trinity Student Government Association.
“Altruism,” stated student government leader Ben Slone ’19, “is a belief or practice of disinterested concern in the well-being of others.”
Anna Kelly ’19 then shared her experience volunteering for the past several summers with the Special Olympics of Virginia, as they prepare for the one-mile fun run held each fall at Trinity. “They carry this positive energy with them that fills the atmosphere and leaves everyone smiling,” she said. “Volunteer work is a great way to help give back to your community and make a direct impact on the individuals in it. Altruism is shown in the act of going out of your way to help someone, and this trait can be seen throughout our entire Trinity community, and we can strengthen it every day.”
Becky Currier, athletic director, echoed the meaningful impact of the T.I.T.A.N.S. values. “Even though we’ve talked about them for over a year, they’re alive and well,” she said. “They’re time-tested values. They’re things that you’ll want to build in your children, they’re things you’ll want to build into your life, and they’re things that you hope that the people around you will build into their lives.”
Currier then told personal stories of her own journey, experiencing the real-life impact of altruism. Growing up as the grandchild of a minister, she would accompany him on pastoral calls and hospital visits all over Richmond. “I very quickly noticed that when he stopped and said a prayer for someone who was sick, or we called on someone who couldn't get out and about, you could see their eyes light up, and you could see a sense of comfort,” she said. “I decided that one of the fundamental things in my life would be to become intentional about that unselfish, compassionate, altruistic way of life.”
As an adult, she has chosen to focus on World Vision, the International Justice Mission and Compassion International — three organizations she believes are helping some of the world’s poorest and most oppressed.
Through her own journey, she said there are four takeaways she hopes Trinity students will hear:
“When it comes to being altruistic, anybody can do it… Every day, we all engage in little acts or big acts that make a difference. That matters.”
“Altruistic deeds change lives… When somebody does some kindness to you that you weren’t expecting, it matters to you. It can even be life-changing… and it changes our lives too.”
“It can be fun. When you do something for others, it feels great.”
“There is often a mystery to being altruistic... I’m probably never going to meet any of the children or families I’ve helped through these volunteer organizations.”
“We’re all on a journey,” she said. “You right now are setting in place the bedrock foundations that you are going to build your life upon. I would encourage you to be intentionally altruistic, because I really want to see how that plays out, and I want you to come back and let us know where your journey took you.”