How should I live my life? How can I make a difference? What am I meant to do? What is my purpose?
These are questions that have been asked for centuries, and many of us still ask them today. We wonder how the bits and pieces of our struggles, disappointments and successes add up to a significant whole. Vocation, the Latin word for “calling,” is about trying to answer these questions. The more clearly we can understand our callings, the more passionate and effective we are likely to be in our professional, communal and personal lives. A group of those who can act on their callings can be a strong and resilient force to enliven, enrich and otherwise improve a community.
Mark Mutz is engaged in an on-going project to help others find, clarify and act on their callings. This work involves teaching and speaking on these topics in academic institutions and through other educational programs. Audiences have included undergraduate and graduate students, lawyers and business owners. Common to these efforts is a belief that calling is best cultivated through a complex encounter with new ideas and new people who can surprise us with new ways of understanding ourselves and each other. The new ideas typically come from engagement with classic texts that explicitly address calling as well as celebrated works of literature that provide vivid, provocative illustrations of what it means to follow a vocation. The new people are those who come to these events seeking greater insight into their callings. The goal in these encounters is to create an environment that promotes wonder, inspiration and—ultimately, insight into our callings.