“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”      Eleanor Roosevelt                                                                                                                                                                              

Boston makes my heart clutch in fear, frozen by the thought of random acts of violence and evil, unable to explain to my children in any coherent way what a terrorist is and why people plant bombs in a crowd of innocent men, women and children. I’m at a loss, but I do know I can’t watch too much news coverage or I will be overwhelmed with grief and despair, images of 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine and the recent Sandy Hook shooting rushing into my mind, looping around in a way that’s not so easy to turn off.

What becomes clearer to me the older I become is that we are here for this brief time to serve others and bring peace, compassion and love into the world. I don’t say this in a philosophical, breezy or even egotistical manner. I’ve got to believe the smallest gestures and words of kindness make a difference while also being compelled to act in larger ways through a commitment to social change without conflict or the mantle of righteousness.

As an individual and a parent, I am charged with the question: how can I live daily to make the world a safer, more sustainable, better place to live?

One bright spot is the fact there are so many incredible young people already changing the world. Something that hit home for me when I atteneded a board meeting this weekend in Chicago for the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University ( Newcomb played a life-changing role in my educational life as a young woman, and today, through the Newcomb Scholars program, this powerful legacy for women continues as these college students become agents for social change in a variety of fields. Through innovative teaching on gender issues, service learning courses, and engaging public programs, this amazing program mentors the next generation of women leaders

While in Chicago, I also visited Hull House ( I knew who Jane Addams was, but never understood the depth of her compassion and social activism until this weekend. It was a humbling experience, to say the least. Now more than ever, we need individuals like her to help heal our social ills.

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” Jane Addams






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