Tubbs’ ‘Last Lecture’ on April 25 to focus on gratefulness

In our individualistic society, people tend to live life isolated in their own view of life, considering only how certain situations affect themselves and not other people.

However, in a world shared by over seven billion people, this sort of mindset creates divisions between individuals and fosters a sort of negative perspective of the world.

But throughout the centuries, people have survived the most difficult situations by having a sense of hope and gratefulness for what they do have: culture, faith, community, religion and more.

Revisiting the idea of gratefulness, Dr. James Tubbs will deliver Detroit Mercy’s annual Last Lecture on Tuesday, April 25, 5-6 p.m., in the exhibition space on the first floor of the Loranger Building.

The Last Lecture event was reintroduced three years ago, resurrecting as a longstanding tradition from the College of Mercy – the idea being to discuss various topics of importance with honor students, as a way to leave them reflecting on a final message.

This spring’s lecture will be focused on “Grateful Living” – what it means to live gratefully, the definition of gratitude and understanding how it might obligate, motivate and be interpreted in our lives.

A professor of religious studies, Dr. Tubbs hopes to facilitate a thought-provoking conversation about gratefulness through a personal understanding of the ways that gratefulness has been multiple things – an obligation, motivation and interpretative force – in his own life.

In anticipation of the event, The Varsity News asked a few students on campus how gratitude and grateful living fit into their own lives.

For Sarah Hirschmann, a sophomore education major and women’s soccer player, gratitude is a perspective that goes beyond simply examining what happens to you or what you get. It’s about making a choice to focus more on the things that you have in life over the things you don’t have.

“People who are more grateful for what they have are just happier in general,” said Hirschmann. “Even like getting up early in the morning for practice, it’s hard and no one wants to be there but we get to play the sport we love, go to school and get it paid for essentially, so you can’t complain.”

In a similar vein, Suzanna Redick, a junior biology major, feels that grateful living is simply appreciating the things that you have and not taking them for granted. That in turn opens your eyes to more understanding and lessons in life, essentially living life with rose-colored glasses on.

For this upcoming lecture, Tubbs acknowledges that people will be focused on finals and finishing their school year on a good note.

In the spirit of good endings, Tubbs believes that attending the event will be worth students’ time and will put them in a positive mindset for the completion of the semester.

“It’s an opportunity to hear somebody speak from the heart, as well as the brain, and talk about something that is important to them and that they think is significant for other people as well,” said Tubbs. “It’s beyond academic material that you are going to be tested on but it’s a broader sort of experiential and more personal kind of address.”