Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Wisdom not my own

Wisdom is a tough topic. True wisdom is rooted in humility and sacrifice, but discussing it tends to make us sound arrogant and selfish if we start from the premise that we have it and others don't.

I think, though, that looking for wisdom in professors is the wrong (and often a fruitless) task-- instead, we should be teaching our students to be wise in choosing and pursuing their vocation.

I'm convinced that the secret to teaching towards wisdom is to allow students to work with principles (in addition to learning legal rules), because wisdom comes from the application of principles to the tough questions we all face. I try to do this in my own classes, through simulations and exercises, and in my new commutation clinic.

This goal is the topic of the paper I presented last week at Baylor. If you would like (and I hope you do), you can download the whole thing here (just click "one-click download" at the top of that screen).

I would love to hear your thoughts, as I look to revise this paper for publication.

Now that's a cute baby.

I am honored to have read your paper, encouraged and inspired by how far reaching teaching to principles can be.

The swirling whispers of the Holy Spirit are a constant reminder of opportunities offered to us each day that allow "...our best words (to) come through the mouths of others, and our proudest moments (to) often occur when we are not there."

We are all called to be student and teacher and it is by our words and deeds that we reveal ourselves - to others and to Him...
The humble man also loves himself, and seeks to be loved and honored, not because love and honor are due to him but because they are not due to him. He seeks to be loved by the mercy of God. He begs to be loved and helped by the liberality of his fellow men. Knowing that he has nothing he also knows that he needs everything and he is not afraid to beg for what he needs and to get it where he can.

The proud man loves his own illusion and self-sufficiency. The spiritually poor man loves his very insufficiency. The proud man claims honor for having what no one else has. The humble man begs for a share in what everybody else has received. He too desires to be filled to overflowing with the kindness and mercy of God.

Thomas Merton
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