In the hustle and bustle of doing, it's so difficult to find time for being, that opportunity for reflection that allows us room to check in with ourselves, acknowledge what we're feeling, and consider why. And yet, it is the flexibility in reflection—the ability to recognize that I felt this way then but I've since learned these lessons, had this conversation, been moved by someone else's point of view—that helps us to grow. Discovery, both of self and others, is at the heart of what is uniquely Pingree. It requires honesty, courage, a safe place, and the resilience to withstand the friction of many points of view. I keep a journal filled with hastily-scribbled notes, rambling reflections, and inspirational passages to track movement through my days on campus.
After our open forum on Tuesday morning, a student requested to meet with me to talk about recent community conversations and what it means to him to be part of the Pingree community. He shared developing thoughts on how best to share different viewpoints to create new spaces for understanding. "We create our culture every day," he shared. "When we listen and stay open to questioning our perspectives, we actually create and transform culture instead of trying to make everyone see things like we do. This is about evolution, not resolution." Yes, yes, yes! I ran back to my journal after our talk to keep his words close.