Those of us of a certain age, who are looking at the possibility of retirement in the not-too-distant future, think often about purpose. We typically know someone who retired and shortly thereafter passed away. Or someone who, despite counting down the years until retirement, was completely lost once it occurred. The missing element, we know, was purpose. These adults no longer felt a sense of purpose and it didn’t serve them well.
All human beings need to feel a sense of purpose – and that includes kids. Even young children, who don’t yet know the definition of the word, feel it when engaged in activities for which they have great enthusiasm. And older kids? How much more fulfilling life in general – and school, specifically – would be if they felt a real sense of purpose in what they were doing?
Purpose – having a long-term meaningful goal -- takes us beyond ourselves. Tony Wagner, whom I interviewed for Studentcentricity, along with William Damon and Jill Berkowicz, called purpose “transcendent.”
Following our discussion, Bill contributed these additional thoughts:...