“To see young people come alive is the reward of teaching”
According to Joseph Cambell, famed author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), Myths to Live by (1972), and The Hero’s Journey (1990), the goal of maturity is to know oneself —to understand the inner landscape– to be the hero of one’s own life. He says in this brief clip (below) from his famed interview with Bill Moyers:
the influence of a vital person, vitalizes. There’s no doubt about it… he says, people have the notion of saving the world by shifting it around and changing the rules…No…to bring [the world] alive is to find in your own case where your life is and be alive yourself….[and so] in saving yourself you save the world.
Teachers (this can be any of us, not just school teachers) have to focus more on helping young people find their life. We can teach them what it is to be alive and vital. It’s less about making them knowledgeable about the external world or outer landscapes, and more about making them knowledgeable about the world within each one of them.