Tag Archives: lifestyles

my first lesson plan

Tomorrow is a big day for me. It’s the day I begin teaching at George Mason University. And yes, I am excited. GMU is now the largest university in Virginia, with an enrollment of over 34,000 students.

Teaching at the college level is something that I have wanted to do for a number of years. I have taught dozens of classes at various colleges and universities and I always walked away from those experiences wanting more. I always leave those classes wanting the chance to do more, to interact more deeply with the students. Now I have been given the opportunity to do exactly that.

So for the next 15 weeks I will be commuting up to Fairfax, VA every Wednesday to teach Sociology 352: Social Problems. Not surprisingly, the class will focus on global hunger.

I am not exactly excited about the drive, but I am thoroughly pumped about spending 3 hours a week engaging young people in learning about ending hunger. I have already been enjoying the challenge of learning to fully integrate the internet as a teaching tool.  (And I used the word “challenge” intentionally. Those that know me best know my abilities with electronic media)

But the reality is that this semester is a tremendous opportunity for both me and the students in the class. Together we get to figure out how our spirituality, our values and our lifestyles all merge together in the midst of a hungry world. And hopefully, by the time Christmas rolls around, we will all have learned how each of us can make a real and lasting difference in that world. I want us all to leave the class knowing that by working together we can end hunger in our lifetime.

At least that ‘s the lesson plan.

justly accountable

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was an English philosopher and political economist. He was an influential contributor to both social and political theory. He wrote that:

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

If we agree with Mill’s statement then it follows that we must hold ourselves just accountable for the death of another 25,000 of our human family who we allowed to die in the past 24 hours due to our inaction. We know we can end hunger in our lifetime, yet we allow it to continue causing untold evil and unnecessary suffering on the poor and hungry.

When will we align our actions with our professions of faith? When will our lifestyles begin to match the lip service we give to being moral and caring people?