Today's Update: Wednesday, May 27

May 27, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

Last night as I was reflecting on my day, I got a text message from a student leader I’d worked with years ago at another institution. She was just checking in with me. She knows I care deeply about issues facing higher education as well as all of society, and knows there are certainly enough issues to be concerned about right now. 

As we exchanged messages, it occurred to me that this pandemic has brought out so much good in people. From the health care workers risking their lives to help others to the little girl and her letter carrier playing tic tac toe with messages left in the mailbox every day, our spirit and resilience are inspiring.  

And yet. 

And yet at a time when we are dealing with an unseen threat to our very lives, we are also confronted with what the poet Robert Burns called “Man’s inhumanity to man.” At a time when we should be unified for the common good, we see the forces of hatred, bigotry and racism at work. From Central Park to Georgia to Minneapolis to countless other examples from the news of the day, we see how evil eats at the fabric of our society.  

My soul cries out for justice and peace. We cannot allow our darkest nature to overpower the good in and for our lives. I want to see and celebrate the good, and certainly its force is stronger. But we will never achieve what Dr. King described as the beloved community as long as justice for all comes with an asterisk and peace is selectively bestowed.  

So, on this Wellness Wednesday, I hope we can join together to help good win, and to recognize and defeat the forces of injustice. Stand up for what is right, and place value on the lives of everyone including those who have historically been marginalized in society. It may be as simple as sharing a kindness to others, or as difficult as examining the ways we all want to be and live in the world.  

I won’t pretend to have all the answers on the way to a better society. But I know that path does not lead through hate.  

We need to be Scarlet and Great!