About a month ago, I was on what felt like the tenth Zoom call in a row centered on the statement, “there’s so much we don’t know.” At the time, that sentiment was mostly in reference to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of what service-learning, community-engagement, university life, and life in general would look like in the coming months.
I had been in similar discussions all week, but something new struck me. I wrote in my notes, “We don’t know the future, but here’s what we do know…”
Here is my list, written a little more neatly than on the original note card:
- We are in this together even as we experience things very differently.
- We must build authentic and equitable relationships.
- Changes to community should be led by community.
- What we build is stronger when we focus on assets.
- Place matters. History matters.
- Power – who has it and how we use it – matters.
- How we accomplish it is changing, but what we are working to accomplish – a society that values the equality and full potential of all – remains our guide.
There is much I don’t know about the past, present, and future. All of which calls me to listen carefully, learn continually, act thoughtfully, and reflect critically. And I believe I do that best when I acknowledge and ground myself in the wisdom that has long been gathered by people and communities.
How we accomplish it is expanding, but what we are working to accomplish – a society that values the equality and full potential of all – remains our guide.