By Kelly Vrijens

Universitas, Latin for “Universality,” aims to gather young people from different cultural backgrounds with the purpose of forming youth leaders and responsible citizens who, grounded in virtues, are to face societal issues. Universitas recognizes that competence, stable moral character and a well-formed conscience are essential for the formation of youth leaders. It thus offers diverse programs that train competent youth leaders to become good examples for other young people in living virtuous lives.

In this pursuit, the 3-day intensive online course in Europe from August 24-26, 2020, delivered by Atty. Oliver M. Tuazon, gave the attendees an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the values and principles necessary for building a better society.

During the 3-day intensive course, Atty. Oliver M. Tuazon clarified that nation building does not happen overnight. Instead, the attendees learned the importance of thinking critically about the deep moral roots of any societal crisis. Accordingly, youth leaders are called to dig deep in order to identify the root of any problem.

The participants likewise learned that successful nation building starts by knowing oneself in depth. This entails a process of formation that occurs in gradual phases through the repetitive practice of good habits or virtues.

Atty. Oliver also highlighted the importance of “excellence”. As much as it refers to being proficient in a specific undertaking or field of interest, it also requires loving the work that one is doing. Young people, it was mentioned, should nurture their passions and, at the same time, learn how to manage him/herself. The intensive course has provided the young attendees with tools in reflecting on their competencies, personal habits and values.

Atty. Oliver went further in his discussion about values by explaining that values can be divided into two categories: namely, moral values (objective) and non-moral values (subjective). He also mentioned that a person who acts according to their values on a daily basis will form either good habits (virtues) or bad habits (vices). Good habits must be acquired through the constant practice of certain good acts, thereby becoming the foundation of a stable moral character and one’s lifestyle. Bad habits, on the other hand, need to be uprooted, lest they lead to more serious moral consequences.

The interactive discussions among the attendees during the course touched upon the importance of the moral responsibility of a person. Moral responsibility presupposes that a person is able to use their intellect and free will when making a moral decision. Even though a person may experience difficulties in controlling their feelings, a person who cherishes moral responsibility is one who has control over their personal decisions. In relation to this, Atty. Oliver pointed out that a well-formed conscience refers to a judgment of reason whereby a person recognizes the moral quality in one’s actions. In this regard, it can be said that the person him/herself unifies all the components of nation-building inasmuch as the person is the “basic” contribution to nation-building, a truth that is also revealed by the light of our faith.

In conclusion, the 3-day intensive course has provided young people with discussions on the subject of nation-building which are both thought-provoking and multidimensional in scope. These discussions and Q&A sessions helped the attendees understand and navigate the cultural differences among diverse countries when it comes to the idea of “values”. Lastly, the comprehensive course has provided valuable insights and an interdisciplinary perspective on the topics of competence, stable moral character and a well-formed conscience, with the vision of forming youth leaders who promote universally-valid morals and values in society.

If you are interested to join the online course given by Atty. Oliver M. Tuazon, register at httpa:// The upcoming 7-day regular online courses will take place on September 12-26, 2020; October 19-24, 2020; November 7-21, 2020 and December 5, 2020. Online classes start at 8.30-9.30PM PST and 2.30-3.30PM CET.

Kelly Vrijens is studying European Public Health in Maastricht University, Netherlands. She lives in Belgium.