desire for dialogue

After writing that I would use this blog primarily to to work through issues related to my teaching and research, I find myself wanting to post about the war in Iraq. However, I don’t know that I have anything particularly insightful to say. Mostly, I think, I’m saddened by the lack of dialogue taking place between those who oppose the war, and those who are in favor of it. In America, we don’t really seem to listen to each other. I’m not sure that either side fully understands the other’s position.

I was heartened to get this announcement recently via email from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences here at UMKC, Bryan Le Beau:

College of Arts and Sciences to Lead Daily Reflections on the War

In recognition of these difficult times, the following events have been organized and are open to all faculty, staff, and students.

The United States is now at war with Iraq. Regardless of whether you are in favor or opposed, the war has been, and will continue to be, a troubling experience for us all. As a learning and caring community, we need to help one another through these difficult moments; to proceed as if nothing is happening is an inappropriate moral response. Toward that end, I have organized a daily Hour of Reflection to begin on Monday.

The Hour of Reflection
Coordinated by the College Faculty
Noon to 1 p.m. daily
beginning Monday, March 24-Friday, March 28
Lobby of the Performing Arts Center

The Hour of Reflection is not a rally either for or against the war. It is an attempt to provide a safe space for reflection and conversation for our campus and extended campus community.

Anger, fear, and tears are natural in our current situation, but we must be mindful that we are part of a community where striking out against one another accomplishes nothing and is not a reflection of our chosen values.

Please join us to express your feelings, seek information and gain a better understanding of the war in an environment of tolerance and respect.

I hope to be able to make some time to attend some of these as I do my usual stumble through the week.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email