[E]ducation is not about making a living, but making a life. A deep, spiritually meaningful life. It is a time for exploration and discovery. You’re right. Every day after my students graduate, the world will be demanding its pound of flesh from them. There will be pressures placed on them to compromise, to put their values aside and do things the established way, the way that makes money, the way that makes for worldly success. That’s why a university is such a special place. It is their one opportunity to do something for truth. Not for money. Not to get ahead. Not to curry favor with someone. Not to please anyone but themselves. It is a special time of life, a unique opportunity to go as far as they can, to dig as deep as they dare into the meaning of life. It is a time to study their hearts and souls and not worry about the ridiculous, wasteful, stupid things the world wants them to care about. To go to school to try to build a resumé, or to learn secrets about how to get rich or famous is to waste this glorious opportunity to break free from that oppressive system. The only right reason to go to school or to make art or to study art is to begin to understand truths the world suppresses and denies, and eventually to be able to share your understandings with others in acts of love and giving.
-Ray Carney, from “The Difference Between a Career and a Life.”