Carvajal: ‘Self-efficacy experience’

Orlando P. Carvajal
·2 min read

Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as “people’s beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their functioning and over events that affect their lives.”

The cultural revolution I spoke of earlier should develop a critical, rational, and scientific mind and a fine character among our youth. It should provide them with a sense of duty and self-efficacy to accomplish something for themselves and the country.

Ideally, because of its influence on the minds and hearts of people the Catholic Church should spearhead the cultural revolution. However, it does not possess the motivation to reform an establishment of which it is a privileged member. Not when the job entails reversing the process by which Spain gave us our Christian faith in exchange for our land, our sovereignty, our dignity and self-efficacy as a people.

Our secular education system will, therefore, have to spearhead the cultural revelation and develop character differently from the way our Christian faith has developed it.

Our Christian faith puts the six pillars of character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship) in the service of our trip to heaven. How many today, for instance, would rather pray for immunity from Covid-19 than wear a mask or be vaccinated against it? How many of the desperately poor are simply told by their religious mentors to entrust their life-problems to God?

The cultural revolution must instead primarily make us put our character traits to use in building our dream society or in religious terminology, in building God’s kingdom on earth. For this we need a sense of self-efficacy.

A proven way to acquire it would be to give our youth what psychologists call a “self-efficacy experience” by way of a “compulsory social year of community service” for all 18-year-olds regardless of socio-economic status. This would be the equivalent of the sabbatical year that tests the resolve of trainees for the priesthood. This would also be the equivalent of the “exposure program” communist front organizations make their recruits undergo to good effect.

A year-long community service will create in our youth both awareness and motivation to fulfill their duty to the country. Nothing gives our youth a sense of duty better than a “self-efficacy experience” that in effect asks them what they can do for the country instead of just having fun fulfilling their personal ambitions and asking what the country can do for them.

The fine character of its people is the foundation of a strong society. More than classroom lectures, providing our youth with a “self-efficacy experience” is one tried and tested way to build character.