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Full Minds and Empty Souls

I once heard a compelling story on the radio from well known Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. His unique ministry exists to defend the validity of Christianity with the mantra, “Helping The Thinker Believe and The Believer Think.”  On his radio program, he shared about a recent experience he had speaking at a large college campus about the topic of faith. His conference drew an enormous crowd, packing out the building and astounding many of the university professors. After the event, he was approached by one of the professors with a question. “How is it that you’re able to draw such large crowds to your events? We’ve had several academic conferences and can’t seem to get our students to attend.”  After a brief pause Ravi responded, “Perhaps they have full minds and empty souls.” Ravi’s response was brilliant, yet deeply insightful.

We all long for something deeper that satisfies. And many sitting in our auditoriums and classrooms today are drawing from an empty well. It’s as if, though this next generation has infinite information at their fingertips, they lack the ability to put forth the necessary effort to process it. They can’t apply their knowledge toward their own good. Vast amounts of knowledge can still leave many devoid of purpose. This is the state of our current generation.

It’s why I’m a firm believer that our educational system needs a complete makeover. It’s time to educate souls as much as we do the minds. Students need to be noticed, affirmed, and told of their true value. They need to be built up in a personal way that’s rooted in relationship with their instructors. Let’s adjust our goals, systems, and processes to value the individual being taught instead of a metric that must be met. At the end of the day, people feel accountable toward a person, not a number. Construct incentives for teachers to better know their students so they can focus on how best to draw out their hidden potential. It’s funny, the Latin root of the word educate is actually educure, which translates… to draw out.

True education isn’t meant to fill one’s mind with facts, but to draw out the hidden potential that already lives inside of the student. A teacher’s aim and primary purpose should be to help students realize their own creative design and value. In other words, we should be trying desperately to see who students really are and help them self actualize. When a person really sees and understands their own value, they’re better able to articulate their value to others. When a person can clearly articulate their value to others, they can negotiate a better life for themselves, their families, and future generations to come. It’s time to fill souls. What do you think?

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