A Short Note to My Kids About Education and Mental Adventure


The philosopher Bertrand Russell claimed the object of education is to stimulate “the love of mental adventure.”

I thought this idea might resonate with you. I hope you embrace it. Yet, I want less to mold your mind than to model how you can think better. I want you to question, to ponder and to seek the truth.

The tsunami of “alternative facts” and rampant disinformation may make you (like it often does me) want to throw up your hands and let nature have its way. Education is the evacuation plan that helps us find higher ground. From which you can think and ask questions.

You’ll often hear that truth is relative. Though we can and should change our beliefs in the face of new and better information, we need not accept that there are alternative or relative truths. It just means that something you thought was right no longer is. Paraphrasing thinkers Willard V. Quine and J.S. Ullian, it is more important to be right than to have been right.

As a runner, I sometimes find that a workout requires more effort to begin because I slept too little, or I would prefer to remain cozy at home. But I need only lace up my shoes and step outside to begin my next physical adventure.

Perhaps think of asking questions and thinking as ways you can lace up your mind for your next mental adventure.



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