What do we do? We speak and work for a better world.
When I saw my wife this morning the first thing she asked me was if I had seen the pictures of their faces, “They’re just babies. They looked like Javy.”
Seeing their faces would be too much. Earlier this morning I heard the first line of a radio story, “They were looking forward to the end of the school year…,” and just had to turn it off. My 9- and 4-year old babies went off to school this morning and I couldn’t keep myself from visualizing how quickly I would get to their buildings or what would go through my mind if that call ever came.
At times like this, we have to be heard and remember that our voices have power. Even when we just don’t want to or cannot conceive of how we would speak.
When I think of Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact and my role here, I tend to see it as a long game. There is so much that is broken in our society that allows violence against children to happen without serious attempts at reform. I’ve seen enough of how and when laws are made to feel pessimistic about any short-term change in policy, though I promise to hold out hope.
But our work – the work of those of you on campuses and in communities – is about building a better society. The only constant is change, and the broken world we will pass on to the next generation can be better through their vision and leadership.
Their perspective will be informed by all that went wrong from the prior generations. They will also lead and act as you and your colleagues have taught them to. The experiences they acquire and the problems they solve on- and off-campus will give them both faith in themselves and the tools to change the world for the better. Step by step, informed by faith and hope in the future, we can all build a better world.
We’re in the final stretch of planning our programming for this next academic year. It energizes me to think about how Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact will engage our network to support your work in sustaining the pipeline of leaders that will make a safer, more equitable, and compassionate society.
Writing this message gives me no relief. I won’t see my babies again until the end of the day. But I will keep my head down and stay focused on my job; because, the work I do today will help make a better world for my babies.