Friday, March 13, 2009


Once you have learned basic knowledge and skills in primary and secondary schooling, and you then choose to attend college, you ought to expect more than just more of the same.

Of course, you should expect to grow more expert in an academic discipline of your inclining, whether literature or physics or philosophy or some other established “field of learning.”

And, yes, you should expect to widen your “general education” by sampling at a higher level the wares of other scholarly studies.

But, most essentially, you should be guided, encouraged, and exhorted to think discerningly about the future, about the question of where our human race is headed, about the frontiers of human inquiry and endeavor—more so now than ever before.

Since our race has very recently grown so powerful and dangerous that we now threaten the viability of our planetary ecosystem, we must therefore wise up. We’re now too smart not to be wise.

The prudence or foresight of wisdom must now guide humankind to preserve and enhance what sustains life on Earth at the highest levels of thriving and flourishing, which implies that we must learn to quell those reckless human tendencies now urging us toward chaos—the lusts and rages of heedless egoism and self-service, personified most recently in Bernie Madoff, who has just driven himself and a herd of hapless lemmings off a cliff.

That same madness, expressed in numerous other guises, infects much of humanity and must be cured. Thus the search for sanity stands foremost among the frontiers we confront as a race: learning how to be healthy, well and whole (all words from one root—as well as holy)—the essence of wisdom.

For these reasons, Rollins College is now considering a general education program oriented to explore the “human frontiers,” the leading edges of learning and research where breakthroughs into new perspectives and paradigms can lead to new behaviors and institutions helping us to grow, worldwide, in wellness and wisdom.

For more information about the Rollins Plan/Human Frontiers program, please contact its coordinator, Prof. Alan Nordstrom