“In times of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” - Eric Hoffer, 1972
This quote comes from research into experiential education and service learning. I feel these words will become progressively more prescient and relevant as the future unveils.
More literally, the quote reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend the other day. I told him of my dream to be a professor, but that I felt saving the world didn't have enough time to spare for me to go to school that long. He insightfully remarked, "Yes, if you are going to get a PhD, it will have to be in a saved world." How true! And, I must admit, the idea of being one of the first people to achieve a post-petroleum doctorate is so much more compelling to me.
That experience makes me think of another recent moment with a friend who remarked, "Whether or not our work succeeds, we will get to work with the most beautiful people along the way."
At times like this, when I have to go through the motions of a world I don't believe in, that my friends bring great comfort and something to look forward to.