Life Worth Living
Life Worth Living began with a dream and a vision at Yale University in 2014 to change the course of higher education and invite students to contemplate the most central questions in life. The vision resulted in the development of one of Yale’s most popular undergraduate courses, whose central question is:
“What is worthy of our humanity? Or What is the shape of a flourishing life?”
“It’s this weight of the question contrasted by rarity by which it’s being asked that generated the need for that class and ultimately this book.” - Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University.
At its core Life Worth Living is about helping people think about and answer for themselves some of the most fundamental questions in life by learning to read their own lives, the lives of those with whom they learn, and the lives of thinkers from across time. They contemplate and discern for themselves answers for:
What is worth wanting? What is the good life? How does the Good life feel? How do I act? What do I hope for? What do you do when you fail? What role does suffering play in a good life?
Life Worth Living Approach
The LWL Approach entails bringing people into relationship with one another and with texts and artifacts from across time as participants explore and engage with what a life worth living can look like in diverse contexts and cultures, ultimately getting better at articulating their own.
While the Life Work Living Journey can take many forms it is rooted in these guiding key principals:
Pursuit of Existential Meaning
Commitment to Truth-Seeking Pluralism
Participation in a Community of Practice
Taking part in a life-giving community means being present, listening deeply and with compassion, reflecting, and finding energy and belonging in the journey.
As they move through the Life Worth Living approach, participants are better equipped to articulate their evolving vision of a life worth living and to test the reality of living it.
In Life Worth Living, participants practice reading. They practice reading their own lives; the practice reading the lives of others, both those who are participating in the journey alongside them as well as the thinking and creations of people from the past.
The base for each LWL conversation often begins with an engagement with texts to help each person grapple with the question from different perspectives and helps open the conversation to the perspectives and lives of those participating.
During the last week of June, the first cohort of the Life Worth Living (LWL) Network gathered in Reykjavik to learn together about how to design and facilitate a Life Worth Living Course and NORTH Consulting Reykjavik was here to welcome them. Working with pedagogical ideas about relationship building, space as a teacher, who holds the power in the classroom, and how educator ideas and beliefs impact interactions. With a commitment to facilitating meaningful conversations and personal understanding through the use of relational pedagogies, LWL encourages participants to communicate across lines of difference as they answer for themselves what makes A LIFE WORTH LIVING.
This work extends beyond the walls of higher education and NORTH Consulting is leading these initiatives in Iceland and in Europe. To begin with NORTH is leading a European funded project in five countries (Iceland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece and Italy) to bring the LWL course with the primary aim of caring for our educators and principals.