FT 07-Q Leading Lives of Importance: What Really Matters in Life?
Charles Blaich, Deborah Butler, Bill Doemel, and Kathy Wise: Center of Inquiry
What am i doing here in a small town, at a small college, cramped into a small space with a bunch of guys? You may be here because your parents, teachers and friends told you to apply and go to college. Or you may want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a researcher, a teacher, a minister or any number of other professionals, and you must have a diploma. We suspect that each of you has his special reason for being here and, at the same time, questions the decision to come here in the first place. Those are some of the immediate questions you are trying to answer. In time, you probably will be asking many more. Will I raise a family? How will I lead a fulfilling life? What am I called to do? Together, we are going to explore these questions and reflect on issues of meaning, purpose, and values. We will examine topics like wisdom, happiness, authenticity, vocation, balance, work and identity, and relationships with others through discussions of fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, and film. Readings may include Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Aristotle's Politics, Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk, Elie Wiesel's Night, Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge, as well as the films Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting, and Field of Dreams. Along the way, each of you will identify people whom you respect and will inquire about the decisions and consequences of their lives. Finally, you will be describing your developing ideas on meaning in your own life.