By John Meeks
“Do not pray for easier lives. Pray to be stronger…” – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Once again, the hallowed halls of learning have become desecrated by the violence from which we seek to protect our youngest citizens. Connecticut’s pain is our pain because we know in our hearts that the tender years of youth are supposed to be ones of learning and growing and not dying and mourning. We collectively feel their pain because we know the arbitrary nature of fate in which evil can strike without warning. Our security comes into question and we fear for our own communities. There is no way for us to reasonably pretend to know when we will face the kind of violence that has visited those educators and students who began their day like any other but found themselves living through a nightmare that no community should ever endure. There are no immediate solutions or panaceas to this situation, but we must do what we know best. In the darkest hour, it is up to each of us to stay true to our purpose – to enlighten as our calling demands of us. The work that we do shall continue as we respond to evil with good, to disorder with order and to chaos with reason. We have been challenged before and we will continue to be challenged, but our work must continue for the good of humanity. This holiday season, I pray, will be a time of reflection for us to carry on in a way that would make our fallen colleagues and our fallen students know that we do this work for them and for a better world. I thank you for all that you do.