The President's Blog

A little compassion goes a long way

August 21st, 2017

As we start the new academic year, my inclination is to write about the new beginnings and the year ahead, but my thoughts are preoccupied with other items of concern.

I am worried and perplexed by the events happening around us. As I follow the news ranging from the tragic events in Barcelona and Charlottesville to the business dealings of our provincial politicians, I cannot help but wonder what must be done to fix what ails us. How have we strayed so far from decency?

I believe it all comes down to the values we live by, both as organizations and individuals. As an organization, Parkland College is committed to these values:

  • innovation and continuous learning
  • inclusiveness and diversity
  • compassion and respect
  • responsiveness and accountability

These values serve as a reminder and challenge in our everyday work with students, colleagues, and our communities. While they are all of importance, my thoughts tend to focus on the values of compassion and respect.

I cannot help but think that so much of what is happening around us would be overcome simply by living with compassion and respect. Every day, I interact with people who approach their lives with the highest regard for others. They are kind, considerate, and respectful of all, even when they are faced with opposing views. They acknowledge and seek to understand the differences that make our world such a remarkable place.

While respect and compassion for others is the norm, there are constant reminders that this is not universal and there is still much progress to be made. We can and must do better.

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