I was at work late this past Wednesday. In honor of Holy Week, there was a sermon on the lawn just outside my office. In it, the priest emphasized the idea that we should transcend superficiality in our lives.
This made me reflect on how it might seem to students like psychology emphasizes exactly the opposite message. After all, psychologists have observed just how much weight people give to little things when deciding whether they want to be friends with us, date us, or even marry us. For example, something as small as your not giving a big enough tip to the waitress on a first date could turn your date off completely.
A solution that I have found for this seeming discrepancy between messages from the Church and from Psychology is as follows: Pay attention to the little things when it comes to other people, and keep the Big Picture in focus for yourself.