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Learning to Love What Must Be Done

The German poet Goethe advises, “Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.” In this maxim, Goethe succinctly captures a long educational tradition that sought to shape students into lovers- lovers of wisdom and lovers of the work that brings wisdom. In this seminar, I will explore the ways we can impart diligence, courage, zeal and industry to students- all traits that blossom from a cultivated love for the good, sure and beautiful and enable students to thrive and excel. Starting with Augustine and his exhortation that students order their loves and love that which is lovely, we will look to the tradition of classical education for inspiration and ideas for imparting students a love for what must be done. The seminar will conclude with a practical discussion of how this can happen in our contemporary classrooms.