Scalia and the Legacy of Teachers


As a teacher- and that seems to be a key way in which Justice Scalia saw himself- I found this picture to be deeply moving. In case you haven’t already seen it, these are former clerks of Justice Scalia’s (accounts varied on the number, as many as 180) lined up ready to receive his body.

In an age which has largely forgotten honor, this is a beautiful portrait of it. This is also a portrait of why we teach. Of course there are lectures to prepare, papers to grade, and so forth, but those are the details not the goal. We teach to shape lives, to form thinking that will inform living that will transform the individual and society. Our success is bound up in our students, in what they do with what we give them. Thus we must invest in them well. And when I see men drop what they’re doing, come, line up and wait like this to receive the body of their mentor, I think, “Here is a man who made an impact on the lives of those he mentored.”

Lord, grant me such success.

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