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  • "With Holiness and Wisdom" is the motto of Kings College London. My cousin came back from teaching in Korea to do his MA in linguistics there and I went along to his graduation. I left school at sixteen and went straight into work so I have no formal education and this was the first graduation ceremony I'd ever attended. It was pretty cool and I felt pretty proud for my cousin by the time it was over and also felt an affiliation for the university that I had never thought to feel for any educational institution.

    Kings is one of the oldest universities in the UK. It's motto speaks to it's Anglican foundation and it's ongoing commitment to religious education (alongside it's other schools of learning and research) but it struck me, hearing the Dean's graduation speech that there is also something very sacred about learning. From the moment we are born, to the moment we die, we can and do learn things about our universe and that whether we learn formally or informally that knowledge we acquire stays with us and benefits both us and also the world around us. We all benefit from living in an educated society. The Dean said as much about the education the graduates received at Kings and also spoke another saying of the school to it's alumni, "Kings till you die." Meaning that the graduates would always be part of the university and what that brings to the world and that their own wisdom in their subjects is a lifelong endeavour.

    I thought about my own education. I pretty much detested school and disregarded formal education as something that I didn't want to own, but I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to befriend an elderly nun, who had taught me through her own example that lesson about lifelong learning. I feel fortunate to have learned that from her as she was instrumental in making me brave enough for many of the life changes I made afterwards and I remembered her here in this auditorium, and how brave and unafraid she had made me about learning new things. Here in this auditorium where I sat watching my cousin, not really knowing where my life is at now or was going to go next it was good to be reminded that knowing things is not an ending, merely the beginning of a journey that is indeed spiritual in nature as it leads you forward through life learning, and through you, gives to your fellow humans to make their lives better. Nobody has to have been at Kings to find that sacred path of knowledge, but that message they gave out along with the subjects they taught seemed to make it a jolly fine institution in which to take a degree.
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