An essential question for adult educators to reflect on is: What matters to me and how can my work advance this in some way? Discovering and acting upon a purpose beyond oneself brings meaning to work and can motivate learners to find meaning also. This leads to a deeper commitment and sense of fulfillment. Having a greater purpose creates unity and fights fragmentation in the activities of life. The words of Jean Vanier are a call to action for all adult educators:
It is always good for individuals, communities and indeed nations, to remember that their present situation is a result of the thousands of gestures of love or hate that came before. This obliges us to remember that the community of tomorrow is being born of our fidelity to the present. We discover that we are at the same time very insignificant and very important because each of our actions is preparing the humanity of tomorrow; it is a tiny contribution to the huge and glorious final humanity. (Vanier, 1989, p.152)
What we value, we prioritize and this directs our work and lives, shaping not just what we do but who we become. We need to start practicing now who we want to be in the future (Bregman, P., 2016). Adult educators can choose to play a role in personal transformation and social change.
Bregman, P. (2016). You need to practice being your future self. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/03/you-need-to-practice-being-your-future-self
Vanier, J. (1989). Community and Growth. New York: Paulist Press.