The Life Worth Living Fellowship creates space for dialogue on life’s biggest issues of belief, value, and human flourishing—in other words, what makes for a good life.
The Fellowship is an intentionally inter-tradition group composed of undergraduate fellows from a diversity of ethnic, geographic, religious, and non-religious backgrounds. The Fellowship seeks to examine our choices and values sincerely and deeply, and to do so by engaging a wide range of intellectual, cultural, religious, and philosophical perspectives.
At its gatherings, the Fellowship asks you to consider more than just what you want to achieve, and to question what will come of your achieving. We ask you to think of how meaning can be found in your work, relationships, faith, sense of purpose, or lack thereof. We ask you to examine the value of your ambitions, the extent of your compassion, and the strength of your responsibilities. We exist because “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
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Past Fellowship events include:
Week of Gratitude
week of October 10, 2016 on Cross Campus
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” -Melody Beattie
This week, the fellowship asked students to step back from the stress of midterms and to think about who and what they are grateful for because intentionally cultivating gratitude can increase our happiness and wellbeing. Students were asked to stop by the Fellowship’s table on Cross Campus to write a gratitude card to someone they appreciate and to add something they are grateful for to a Life Worth Living banner. In all, students wrote 200 thank you notes sent to 20 states, and 9 countries around the world.
The Last Lecture Series
December 8, 2016 in the Davenport College Common Room
On September 17, 2007, Professor Randy Pausch delivered the lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon’s Last Lecture Series, which invited professors to share lessons of their “personal and professional journeys.” At the time, Randy’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis made this event truly his “last lecture” before his passing in 2008. Yet Randy’s speech and his book “The Last Lecture” still inspire millions of people on how to treat others, how to approach challenges, and how to live the good life today. The Life Worth Living Program at Yale adapted this event to showcase four incredible Yale professors: Paul Lussier (Environmental Studies), Elizabeth Carroll (Education Studies), Claudia Valeggia (Anthropology), and Carla Horwitz (Child Study and Education Studies), in sharing their thoughts on what makes a life worth living.
Cellphone Free Dinner
November 16, 2016 in the Silliman College Dining Hall
This event asked the question: is it possible to live a good life without ambition? The Life Worth Living Fellowship, in partnership with the Yale Humanist Community, held a student-centered cellphone-free dinner discussion about ambition and the good life.
David Brooks and Miroslav Volf:
A Conversation on “Character, Flourishing, and The Good Life”
February 22, 2016 in Battel Chapel
Today, more than at any previous time in history, the question of the good life—the question of what makes for a flourishing life—is a pressing one. Once upon a time this question came pre-answered—by culture, by religion, by tradition—but these days, we each have to ask and answer for ourselves: What is the good life? What does it mean to live a flourishing life? These are difficult questions that require intellectual muscles we’ve long let atrophy; we need one another’s help to ask and answer them well. But one begins to wonder: How do we even begin to have this conversation together, if each of us must answer these questions for ourselves? The Fellowship hosted a conversation with David Brooks and Miroslav Volf, two people who are thinking deeply about these questions, to discuss how to reason about these profound questions and how to live out meaningful answers.