My thirty-two years of teaching experience have taught me that most students of the liberal arts become less interested in acquiring the means to get what they want than in figuring out what in life is really worth wanting, what ends are ultimately worth pursuing. The business of education is learning what to love and how to love it in the right way. If done properly, this involves improving one’s heart and character—which involves an ordering of the soul. One must come to recognize that which is genuinely good, true, or beautiful, and one’s soul must learn how those things ought to be loved.
Students young and old must free themselves to enjoy learning for its own sake, not just for the sake of the earning power it bestows. Only when learning is pursued for its own sake will that learning do its most for the student. It will order the soul, discipline the mind, and equip one, not just for the workplace, but for the job of living, that is, for flourishing in all the capacities that await in life. A good liberal education provides the kind of preparation needed to live well—not just for success at the office, but more importantly, beyond it.
— John J. Miller (@heymiller) December 4, 2021