Belief is the seed, practice the rain, And wisdom is my yoke and plough. Modesty’s the pole, mind the strap, Mindfulness my ploughshare and goadSuch belief, it is said, can lead towards liberation. Indeed, a person who is “released by belief” can well, in consequence, be “on the path to arahantship”. It is for such reasons that belief is stated by the Buddha to be appropriate as “a person’s partner” and to be “a man’s best treasure”. John Stuart Mill said that “one person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 with only interests.” Surely, he never had a college counselor advising him to build a resume of extracurricular interests instead of contemplating his beliefs. Were Socrates teaching in today’s schools, would his students, too, ask whether their pursuit of wisdom would shine on their school transcript? Given some time to mull over the assignment, my students eventually unearthed a cache of wonderful beliefs buried under years of schooling. They believed in magic and science, in God and poetry, in friendship and true love…..even in the NY Yankees. Liberated by the freedom to express their values, they were also terrified of their peers’ disapproval, for once they attached an “I” to a claim, they could neither hide behind impersonal generalizations nor string together a clothesline of quotes from other sources. As they went around the room sharing their beliefs, they felt their power surge. The prospect of finding myself in a room of believers would not have appealed to me 20 years ago, but now I say bring on the credos, the manifestos, and the philosophies…..the more, the merrier. All students, regardless of ZIP Code, are entitled to a rich education which includes finding belief. Imagine an academic resume that highlights candidates’ beliefs instead of test scores and activities. This, I believe, could trigger a new era of education…..and maybe even a revolution.