Often people ask me whether I will go to graduate school, and what exactly I would want to study. Law School? An MBA? Maybe an MSW? Graduate school is exciting to me because it is an opportunity to learn and to expand my understanding of the world. Mostly, though, it is a chance to strengthen my ability to serve. My ultimate goal on this planet is to serve myself, my family, my community and the world to the best of my ability. What should I study to be able to do that more effectively?
I can begin by looking at the skills and knowledge that I would like to have so that I can share these with my community:
- gardening and alternative food production
- group facilitation and team management
- alternative medicine (nutrition, naturopathy, homeopathy)
- bodywork (massage, physical therapy, energy work)
- spiritual practice (meditation, ritual, prayer)
- food preparation (cooking, brewing, canning)
- ecology, environmental management, alternative energy
- woodworking, metalworking and natural building
- music, dance, performance
- counseling, mediation and conflict resolution
- teaching, pedagogy, parenting
- organizing, event planning, program development
This list is long, but not even complete. The skills and knowledge critical to our local and global communities in this generation are many. Still, this gives me a good start for looking at potential graduate school programs. With each option, I ask: “will this support and empower me to more effectively support and empower my community? What skills and knowledge will this program help me to bring to my community and this planet?”
These are big questions, but if I want graduate school to support my ultimate goal of service then they are the most important questions. Any advice?