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Whole Person Concept Definition Essay


Every year approximately 10-15 students from our Teen Services program are awarded the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship in support of their pursuit of higher education. While many scholarship programs focus solely on the academic success of the recipients, we are much more interested in seeing our students develop as whole people. This is why we allow scholarship funds to be used not only for tuition, books, and strictly educational expenses but students are also eligible to receive funds to help with rent, food, childcare, clothing, travel, and other expenses. Each student is also paired with a mentor, who helps provide guidance, direction, and emotional support throughout their tenor with the scholarship program.

All of this is in-keeping with the tenants of whole-person development. After all, what good would money for school books be if you were having trouble paying your rent or buying food? By focusing on the bigger picture, this scholarship program is opening up opportunities for success for these students, whether that success be academic, emotional, financial, or interpersonal. Our relationship with these students started as an introduction of the joys and benefits of reading through our Teen Services programming in the classroom, and because of this scholarship program, we are able to witness this whole-person development in action.


I have now completed work on a new three book series (a ten year effort). Each book has similar intent—to help us make sense of the times in which we live and make sense of what the future will require of us—but has a slightly different focus and is written for a different audience.

Hope and the Future: An Introduction to the Concept of Cultural Maturity (ICD Press, 160 pages) presents a brief but provocative examination of what hope for the future necessarily depends on. It introduces the concept of Cultural Maturity by examining critical questions and challenges today confronting us as a species. It describes how effectively addressing many of these new questions and challenges will require new human skills and capacities—new ways of thinking, relating, and acting.

Cultural Maturity—A Guidebook for the Future (With An Introduction to the Ideas of Creative Systems Theory) is a lengthier effort (640 pages) intended for those seriously interested in developing the new capacities that leadership in times ahead will require in all parts of our lives. It closely examines the changes that the concept of Cultural Maturity predicts and addresses how these changes are already beginning to alter our human landscape. And it introduces Creative Systems Theory as an important example of culturally mature conception.

Quick and Dirty Answers to the Biggest of Questions describes how the new kinds of understanding we need today not only helps us address modern day challenges, they also bring a new maturity and creativity to the more ultimate sorts of questions. It is intended for people who find particular fascination in overarching theory.

See the ICD Press page for further details and ordering information