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Monday, January 3, 2011

I am finding much on "Noblesse Oblige" on the Internet and will share a bit with you as this school motto has been haunting me and I seem to remember that because we were so privileged to be "Children of the Sacred Heart" we were called to serve others. We have a responsibility because of our heritage to make the world a better place. Here is something from Wikipedia:

"Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges".
The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus:
1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.
2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms to one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned.
The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility". Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits.
Noblesse oblige" is generally used to imply that with wealth, power and prestige come responsibilities.
In American English especially, the term has also been applied more broadly to those who are capable of simple acts to help another, usually one who is less fortunate.
In ethical discussion, it is sometimes used to summarize a moral economy wherein privilege must be balanced by duty towards those who lack such privilege or who cannot perform such duty. Finally, it has been used recently primarily to refer to public responsibilities of the rich, famous and powerful, notably to provide good examples of behaviour or to exceed minimal standards of decency."

I think our title to "nobility" was based on the fact that we were baptized, children of God, but also had the privilege of being children of the Sacred Heart with an excellent education not only to help us through life, but so we could help others and the goal was not wealth but Heaven!

Anyway, I am having fun researching this phrase and letting it call to me now as well as trying to remember what efforts it inspired when still in school!

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