Last Wednesday night, Angela, our son Jaelan and I took an overnight flight from Sacramento to Baltimore, Maryland to move Jaelan into his new dorm to start his sophomore year at Howard University in Washington, D.C. As I listened to Jaelan and observed some of the students on the campus, I realized that they are preparing to enter a future very different from when I completed college. Jaelan shared that the occupation he will end up with probably does not exist today. He and his fellow students will likely invent the jobs of the future, starting by creating an approach to education that taps into the uniqueness of the individual.
H. Emily Cady, author of the classic text, Lessons in Truth, noted that the word education comes from the Latin word educare,which means to “draw out that which lies within.” Those words came up for me as I thought about the students on the Howard University campus, and also as I listened to an interview with Vishen Lakhiani, a young and successful Malaysian entrepreneur and CEO of Mindvalley, a company that supports businesses that align with its goal to push humanity forward. During the interview, Vishen describes his education experience both in his native country and at the university he attended in the United States. Vishen noted that he was a smart student and despite having a bad schooling experience in Malaysia, he was frequently at the top of his class.
Although he ended up attending and graduating from an elite engineering school, Vishen believed that the education system failed him because it seeks to program people to become cogs in a machine; it is a system based on an outdated Industrial Era in which students were trained to become workers.
In the modern world, one can only truly be happy when they are doing work that ignites their passion. Vishen goes on to suggest that passion-driven work ranges anywhere from an aspiring artist who creates works of art that inspires them to an entrepreneur who is internally driven because what they do draws the best out of them.
If he could change the education system, Vishen would move away from linear education where one graduates from one grade to the next based on passing committee-designed subjects to a system based in “passion-based education”. This new educational system would allow students to study subjects that truly drive them and learn skills that help them grow both personally and spiritually.
Imagine students being taught the importance of meditation so they could deal with the stresses of their teenage years. Imagine students being taught social skills and subjects like compassionate communication that addresses the challenges of bullying. Imagine an education curriculum that includes lessons of mind-body health and wholeness. Imagine a curriculum where students learn visualization and how to use affirmations to help them succeed in life.
This type of education will help students become better versions of themselves by more fully expressing their personal and spiritual potential. There is more and more evidence that this is the direction today’s education is heading. As we draw out that which lies within, we touch upon that natural passion we all have and create a world in which this uplifting way of being becomes the norm.
Peace and Blessings,