Episode 13 - Purpose
Teaching Change takes a philosophical turn in this week’s episode when Jerrid and Courtney ponder their purpose in life. As educators, they find that this is an area where students have difficulty articulating a clear-cut answer—and so do Jerrid and Courtney! Finding one’s purpose remains an important part of the decisions and careers their students will undertake.
This is also the case in the world of social entrepreneurship where the purpose is a major talking point. Of the two essential components of social entrepreneurship, wealth, and value, value has long been the more complicated one to decipher. In the process of creating social value, social entrepreneurs are changing people’s lives for the better. This type of value creation is often closely tied to their missions in life. Therefore, when social entrepreneurs are presenting their ideas and talking about their organizations, the conversations are often framed by purpose.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” – John F. Kennedy
Jerrid’s ultimate purpose is to leave the world better than he found it. However, for him, the tangibles of this purpose continue to evolve and can take on many shapes and forms. Jerrid recounts how he started to put his purpose into action in the music field where he helped up and coming bands put on concerts. The gratification he experienced from this morphed into his desire to help people on a broader scale.
Courtney’s purpose stems from her determination to savor life and to enjoy every moment. Lifelong learning is an important part of this. She wants to improve and broaden her horizons each day because life is way too short. In doing so, she motivates others to do the same.
“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one” – Malcolm Forbes
Is following one’s purpose selfish or selfless? Or is it a little bit of both? One of Courtney’s pieces of advice for students is to be selfish in their studies. If they find a way to make each assignment about themselves, they will be more motivated and interested in completing their work. The same could be said of social entrepreneurs. If their own life’s purpose drives their work and business practices, they are likely to be more invested in the success and prosperity of their organizations.