In times of struggle, an inner life brings us power

An archival black and white photo of Malcolm X giving a speech.
An archival black and white photo of Malcolm X giving a speech.
Malcolm X. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

So often in our careers and relationships, knowledge is exchanged for money or for power, for approval or for a sense of belonging, to mark out superiority in status or to feel important. But a human being is more than his or her social uses. Our intellectual growth matters all on its own. Literature, philosophy, or mathematics can enlighten and console us when nothing else will. Connecting with others shapes relationships that reach our depths. This is why an inner life is worth cultivating.

Learning for its own sake is a way to recover one’s real value. It opens vistas…

Zena Hitz

Zena Hitz is a Tutor in the great books program at St. John’s College. Her book LOST IN THOUGHT argues that learning is valuable for its own sake, for everyone.

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