Strengthening the Bonds of Our Humanity


The flags at Cottey College recently flew at half-mast after another senseless shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, and today we learn of a shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee. “Senseless” is a word we often use after one of these events because rational human beings can’t make sense of why calamities like this happen.

In light of recent mass shootings; natural disasters around the world in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes; hate-filled language bombarding us from all directions via news channels, social media, or as we drive down the street … I reach out to our community to remind us all that we must work to strengthen the bonds of our humanity, our bonds of kinship, and our bonds of mutual support and unity.

When the world seems out of control, we must look for those areas in which we can have an impact. Part of what makes us human is the desire to love and be loved, to respect and be respected, to listen and to be listened to. One of the first and most important things we can do is spend time with those whom we value and let them know we love and care about them.  Enjoy communicating with your family, in whatever form family takes for you. Share a cup of coffee or tea with a friend or colleague. Smile at people in the grocery store. Do something kind for a neighbor. Be careful with the words you choose to use.  At the art fair in Kansas City, I purchased the photograph below, taken by photographer Rusty Leffel of Mission Hills, KS.  For me, and I hope for each of us, this child speaks what is in our hearts.

We must all remember the common goals we share in our communities. In our Cottey community, we all share the goal of educating women to be learners, leaders and citizens in a global society. We continue to work together, all of us, as a team to fulfill this goal. I quote Utah Mayor Brent Taylor, husband and father of seven, who, on his fourth tour in Afghanistan with the National Guard, was recently shot and killed.  He stated in a video as he urged Americans to vote that regardless of the outcome of the midterm elections, “…we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us.”

We each have power and desire to create a better life, a better community, and a better world. I encourage you to be kind to each other, believe in humanity, and work towards the common good through kindness, compassion, and sympathy.

Part of life is dealing with difficult times, times that are certain to be ahead.  As a community, I know that we can show love and caring for one another.  Will you join me?

Be Kind by Rusty Leffel of Mission Hills, KS


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