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Making Paradise Now

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INTRODUCTION A student at Eastern College had just graduated from college with a degree in education. She was headed out into the world and wondering where her future would lead her. She went and interviewed for a job as a teacher. This particular job was at a very good school and so was quite prestigious and had many good benefits as well. She didn't think that she would have a good chance of landing the job since there were over 300 applicants. But, amazingly, she was the one chosen out of all those applicants. Needless to say, she was ecstatic. She excitedly went and told one of her teachers, Tony Campolo, and asked him, "Aren't you proud of me?" "No." he said. Amazed she asked why he wasn't proud of her for getting the job instead of the 299 other applicants. He replied, "You are telling me that you are going to be doing a job for which there are over 299 other qualified people. Why would you want to be a teacher there when I can give you a job where if you don't become the teacher, there won't be a teacher?" She thought about that and decided not to accept the prestigious job for which she had been accepted. Instead she became a teacher at one of Campolo's schools in Haiti. His ideas of Christians being responsible to bring social justice wherever they see injustice has probably inspired me more than anything else to want to find ways that I can be of the best service in areas that need it the most. I've got a long way to go in this area but, in this paper I'd like to outline a few ways that Christians and myself in particular can be useful in the communities in which they find themselves or in other countries. But, before I do that, I would like to take a short look back at the education that I have received and write a short evaluation of it. ...read more.


Of course material things are not bad. They can often increase the options that you have. However for that to be the only inspiration in your work is a depressing thought. Why would you want to spend the largest amount of your life doing something that you have no passion for? This inspiration is necessary both in the transformers course and in every course that students take. A sociologist named Marcoosi begins his book "One Dimensional Man" by saying, "Most Americans have been seduced into a comfortable, enjoyable, tastefully covered form of slavery."6 He goes on to say that this slavery is materialism and that it is the most dangerous kind of slavery because the slaves will their own slavery. We need something in our society to give people the inspiration to will something better than slavery. Somehow we need to inspire people to dream higher dreams and to reach for higher goals, to "go where the brave dare not go" to "fight the unbeatable foe". We desperately need people in this world who are willing to go where the greatest needs are as the teacher was in the introduction story who are agents of positive change wherever they are, people who will do their best to "make a little bit of heaven here on earth". I think that probably the best way to do this is to expose them to people who are examples of this. We talk so much about philosophy and many of our textbooks are so technical or sophisticated but, these things do not usually inspire people. To the contrary, they are often the instruments that crush the curiosity and enthusiasm for studying deeply into subjects. In my life I can unfortunately say that my reading assignments and homework very seldom inspired me. A few of them were interesting but, a majority of them made me sick of studying. What has made a difference in my life? ...read more.


#3. Application This is the last part and maybe most important. We spend entirely too much time in the classroom as students. I think that most classes could be condensed to less than half the time that they are given in and still accomplish the same or greater good. Why? Very simply because who remembers everything that you hear in a class? There is no end to the writing of books as Solomon said, but, the things that are really important can be said concisely and simply. Once you've done that you can use the rest of the class time to go outside and do some of the stuff you have learned. Pastors and students can go out and work together in seminars, Bible studies, health presentation, community activism, etc. Business students can go out and work together with their professors in a real business. In this way you will find out that the principles you are learning really do work and that the professors actually know what they are talking about. You won't have to wait 4 years to apply your knowledge(I wonder how much you remember even of the really important stuff after waiting so long), you'll be doing it at the same time you learn it which means you will not only remember it but, you will understand it as well. Not only will you understand it much better but, usually this doing will enable you to become a trainer yourself(this technique was extremely effective with the Kenyan solar cooking project and the results were "thrilling" to the organizers). In these ways we will begin to fulfill the incredible mission of making his love real to people everywhere. I've been in Asia for 5 years and will be here a lot longer. One thing that is interesting is the proverbs and one of them is especially appropriate at this point. I'm going to end the paper with this sage advice and hope that our education can soon realize the wisdom of these words. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. ...read more.

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