Paul Hawken has given one of the most brilliant speeches I’ve ever read, a commencement address to the graduating class of the University of Portland. You can read it here.
Every once in awhile, a speech is so true and right that there is nothing to do but spread the word about it. I’ve been writing a lot recently on the question “What is education for?” In a sentence, I believe that the overarching purpose of education should be to provide students with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to be conscious choicemakers and engaged changemakers for a peaceful, sustainable, and humane world. Right now, this isn ’t what the vast majority of youth are being prepared for at school. Nonetheless, ready or not, we need their commitment to being solutionaries for a better world. We cannot endure another generation that perpetuates destructive systems and stays mired in narrow, limited thinking and the status quo. Or should I say that the planet, its myriad species, its ecosystems, cannot endure it. And Paul Hawken found the perfect balance between invitation to embark on a grand journey and a direct order to do so.
What I loved so much about Paul Hawken’s speech is that he charged the graduates he spoke to with the task of bringing their brilliance to the great task ahead of them, and great it is, in at least two meanings of the word: in size and scope and in its ultimate, unabashed goodness.
Will you spread the word? Will you be a humane educator who provides the inspiration, information, and call to integrity so that no one need take up this great task unprepared?
Image courtesy of Paul Hawken.
Filed under: changemakers, humane education, systemic change, third side thinking, youth activism | Tagged: better world, change the world, changemakers, citizen activism, commencement, education, humane education, Paul Hawken, speeches, youth activism | Comments Off