We Mature through Pursuing Goodness

This past month, Katya Beebe explored what it means to pursue truth and pursue beauty as part of one of CARP’s principles, “we mature through pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness.” Here’s an academic perspective on the pursuit of goodness.


“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” This quote by philosopher Henry David Thoreau captures the real essence of what goodness is really worth – a guaranteed impact.

GOODNESS – “the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something”

An act can be considered good when it establishes a harmonious and beneficial service to something or someone. Pursuing goodness in the midst of our education is important in the long game if we want to see a good impact on this world as a result of our actions.

Every field of study has an avenue of goodness, but it may not always be easy to identify. I was drawn to the field of international relations as a result of my desire to understand and apply diplomacy in my career.

Steps at Goodness Outside the Classroom

Making friendly connections with the Russian youth during a summer workshop in 2014. 

Making friendly connections with the Russian youth during a summer workshop in 2014. 

Growing up in Moscow, I could see the animosity between people of my native country of America and those of my adopted country of Russia. My international relations degree would help me to make a good impact as I discovered more about the intricate nature of both countries and where there were opportunities for amelioration.

I took the opportunity to go back to Russia during my studies in order to immerse myself in the practice of diplomacy on a smaller scale. As an American who can speak the Russian language, I decided to attend a small workshop with Russian youth where I could undergo a sort of Russo-American exchange.  

The field of international relations as well as people of different countries can benefit from my dedication to this good outcome.



TRY IT: Ask yourself these three questions to rate the goodness in whatever you pursue in your education:

  • Does my area of study lead to improvement in people’s lives, whether in increasing access to opportunity, healthy living, education, wealth, etc.?
  • Does my area of study contribute to a broader network of systems that improves people’s lives?
  • Does my area of study bring joy to myself and others?

These three questions are just a few suggestions to help you start thinking about the goodnessyou can help create in a specific area of study. Pursuing goodness enables you to not only develop a positive reputation for your field, but also gives you the opportunity to make your life a real contribution to this world.  

Change the World the Way You Know

“Education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world.” As Nelson Mandela’s quote goes, these three aspects of education – pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness – encompass a basic formula for changing the world.

Engage with this core principle in your education by applying a dynamic approach to your learning. Maturity is a process – take part in that process and you will be amazed where life takes you.