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Our universities almost exclusively send the message to students that they should pursue their passions, find a career they love, and explore.

There is nothing of course wrong with those notions insofar as it goes, but they are at best of secondary importance and consideration.

Why? All of the above serves as mere consumption value to our future teachers and doctors and explorers and librarians, etc. The entire point of living and working in a modern interconnected society is for each and every one of us to ask the question, “What is it that I can produce so that others will wish to engage with me?” It is only in this way that we can consider what our passions are and what sort of consuming life we’d like to live.

I’d cherish a future where the most common questions we asked were not of the variety, “What do I want to do with my life?” but rather took the form, “What can I do to contribute?”

I don’t think universities can teach us how to do that but they surely could do a better job stewarding us through the process by promoting conscientiousness, curiosity and a better understanding of how human progress is made.

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