Learning To Live

Some people say that college leads to a good job and others affirm that college is self-discovery of truth in one's life.  So how did I traverse a collegiate path?  What did I want to learn? The answers are related to joy and energy.

Today, potential college students answer these questions through analytic influences such as job forecasting and economic trends.  It is a sure thing to get on the right path, right?  Well, sometimes graduates later discover that the status quo has interfered with a good education.

Most agree that what brings them joy and energy in the workforce has very little to do with job forecasting before college.  Instead, a question to ask is, “what brings me joy and energy now?”

The practice of reading scripture and contemplating Christendom brings me joy and energy.  So, I asked myself one day “How do I learn more about this?”  I sought answers by volunteering at my parish. I thought it would be a good way to get some answers.  Initially, this was exciting, and I learned a lot!  Later, I wanted more.  So, I enrolled in various ministry certification programs at my Diocese.  These certifications were pitched toward teaching the faith. Here, I was enthralled with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  It was a "real-world education".  This means, that I learned about my life, society, and its moral implications.  As I matured in my faith and age, I grew to appreciate good thinkers such as Jesus Christ, Saint Thomas Moore, Saint Augustine, Pope John Paul II, and others.  

I knew what I wanted to learn. To be a good thinker and talk about God!

I chose to study theology and sociology.  So I enrolled in a collegiate path that was experiential much like monastic living; communal and stemming from the revelation of Jesus Christ which provided a life course in practicalities.  The study incorporates “faith seeking, understanding, and acting in pursuit of our goal.”  (Anselm of Canterbury, d.1109) This goes beyond the textbook and builds relationships with others and our Creator.  Theology also teaches solidarity with humanity (especially the marginal) and how to respond to social issues with deliberate thought. 

In the end, at graduation, I learned that the world needs more people who are willing to think well.  My goal is to aid humanity and not burden it by adding to its skirmishes, relativism, economic status, or injustice.  One thing is certain, I will not make a lot of money with my degrees, but I will make a difference in the lives of people around me. Theology equips me to combat the pull that social status has on me but more importantly, Sociology helps me help others in a direct and loving way.

In this experience, I learned to do something well and relinquished the urge of going to college to get something.   


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