Friday, March 09, 2012

The obligations of privilege

Thank you, Andrew Delbanco, for putting a good educational experience in the proper light.  In an op-ed piece in today's New York Times he was replying to Rich Santorum's dumb and insulting remark against higher education.  Santorum described America’s colleges as “indoctrination mills” from which God-fearing Americans should keep their distance, and he called President Obama a “snob” for urging Americans to go to college.

The whole article is worth reading in full [click on the title above for a link], but the part I think worth emphasizing is this:  
To the stringent Protestants who founded Harvard, Yale and Princeton, the mark of salvation was not high self-esteem but humbling awareness of one’s lowliness in the eyes of God. With such awareness came the recognition that those whom God favors are granted grace not for any worthiness of their own, but by God’s unmerited mercy — as a gift to be converted into working and living on behalf of others. That lesson should always be part of the curriculum.
Yes, for those of us so fortunate to have the natural endowment and practical opportunity to enjoy a good education, let us take that endowment and opportunity as gifts given by God's grace, not as a sign of superior worth but as a call to a life of humble service to the world around us.

I wonder: Will that concept ever be part of the curriculum at the Chicago business school?

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