The End of an Education

The end of an education*:
In some senses, completion.
Work produced, critiqued, improved, defended.
An end in itself; technically never have to go back.

The goal of an education:
In other senses, continuation.
Friends made and ideas formed for life.
One small voice speaking into centuries of debate.

The end of an education:
A privilege, an investment of time and resources.
Mistakes made; lessons learned.
Legacies left; new people to run with the baton now.

The goal of an education: a leading out.
Freedom to think and to challenge.
Going to places new and old with fresh perspectives.
You might influence but you’ll need to make some correctives.

Wisdom, humility, and the appreciation of the other:
One never stops learning.
Education, however formal or informal, is a gift,
Whose logical end is virtue and service.

*For the community at New College, Edinburgh, including my most formative doctoral supervisor, Matt Novenson. His forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press about the apostle Paul, provisionally entitled, The End of the Law and the Last Man, will, I think, be game-changing.

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