The Responsibility of the Student, The Requirement of the Citizen (by Nikhil Jandhyala)
To participate in worldly and societal affairs is an inclination common to all, but to actively engage in intellectual endeavors allows one to ease the demand of constantly creating social and political outcomes. These endeavors nurture a sort of natural reflection of oneself that is ultimately ordered for its own sake.
When one commits himself to the intellectual life, he allows the opportunity to discover the true, good and beautiful. It is then, that this sort of life creates not only a fulfilling of the human potential, but also creates the space for an authentic community.
As Aristotle states, man, inseparable from the community, actuates his full potential in utilizing the rational principle first and foremost. It is this individual that plays a more active role in the betterment of friends as well as the community at large. It is evident then that the political and the intellectual are both aspects of the human good in their reinforcement of each other.
The liberal arts education is ordered to this very end. The student encounters the true, good and beautiful first, causing the deep reflection of the student as well as a certain fulfillment of purpose. As the student matures, the day-to-day affairs are always guided by a deeper sense of the good. As we think about the new semester starting in a couple of weeks for students across the nation, let us for a moment be aware of the importance this sort of education has in creating better students and better citizens.