"The purpose of this course is to awaken the restlessness of reason, and if we have done at least that, and restlessness continues to afflict you in the days and years to come, then we together have achieved no small thing." ~ Michael Sandel
Michael Sandel's online class at Harvard, Justice, ended a few weeks ago. Over the course of the semester it became my weekly ritual every Thursday to watch the class via YouTube and then participate on the online forum. I will admit that I miss the class. Professor Sandel has a way of creating restlessness, discomfort, in his students that keeps them pondering his points and those of the philosophers he highlights long after the class ends. He inspires curiosity.
It's this inspiration that keeps teachers going. I consider some of my very best teachers, inside and outside the classroom, and everything that they did to help me get far beyond my circumstances. The best of them didn't have all the answers. They just had more questions. Beautiful, articulate questions that made me restless. Questions that still keep my restless, years and years later. It's this restlessness, and the ideas that cause it, that expand our visions. These ideas imagine what's possible rather than accepting what's probably. They push boundaries; they build dreams.
In addition to inspiring curiosity, my teachers also inspired me to aspire. Not for a title or a certain amount of money or power or influence. They inspired me to aspire to get every last drop of value out of this one life that I have. They poured a lot of grace into my dreams so when I consider what I'll do with my time, it isn't just my own days that I need to live to the fullest. Reaching and then exceeding my potential isn't just about my own sense of achievement. I live part of my dreams for them, too. For all of them. It is a responsibility that I willingly, gladly accept because grace is a terrible thing to waste.