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Discovering our best selves

by Melinda Lantz | Oct 29, 2020

Posted Oct. 29 - Twice this month I’ve sat in on classes, once in Fort Wayne and once in North Manchester. In Fort Wayne, I joined a group of Master of Athletic Training students as they debriefed after a mass casualty simulation in their Clinical Skills course taught by Lucas Dargo. In North Manchester, it was a group of first-year students in their First Year Seminar, Psychoanalysis and Religious Practice, taught by Justin Lasser.

Both groups of students wrestled with really big questions. The core question of the mass casualty simulation related to triage. They talked through who to treat, why and how, and how they might be faced with choosing who would live and die. The first-year students were working on questions of belief and identity, faith and existence, intuition and reason. I wrote in my notes that they were thinking hard about hard things.

Lasser took up one of my favorite themes: becoming your best self. “What does it mean,” he asked, to live a life that’s ‘responding?’” One of my favorite quotes about vocation came to mind immediately: Vocation is that place to which you are called where your deep joy meets the world’s great need (Frederick Buechner, paraphrased). Put another way, we are called to respond to the great needs of the world from a place of joy. As Drago’s course reminds us, that calling isn’t always easy, but it is where we can discover our best selves.