Dear MSP Community,
Thursday morning and still no definitive answer in the Presidential Election. I could sit in front of the TV, working while mindlessly listening to endless analysis and projections. Instead, I’m making a pot of chili.
Cooking is what I do when I need to boost my endorphins. The simple act of preparing a favorite recipe calms my mind and soul. When I think of self-care, this is where I go – to a pot of something simmering on the stove, filling the air with a delicious aroma and engaging my feelings of well-being.
I’ve been keeping up with what other college presidents are thinking and doing right now. We’re all struggling with our desire to provide supportive leadership at a time that the Chronicle of Higher Education describes as, “…a tough year for college campuses…this week’s unresolved U.S. presidential election [is] the sour cherry on top” (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 4, 2020).
I’m deeply concerned about our campus community and the physical and mental health of each other and our families, at a time when we’re unable to engage in our usual ways of supporting one another. I want to get it “right” – even while knowing that what’s right for some is not right for others. What we all have in common is that we are simultaneously navigating a divisive national election, racial reckoning, and the increasing threat of COVID 19. Dealing with each of these as isolated incidents would be tough enough; taking them on all at once feels suffocating.
One thing we can do is trust the process and find the patience to see it through. That’s difficult to do, especially when we feel the process may fail us. But I find comfort in that sometimes overused phrase, and I’m holding on to its truth. We can lead by example – all of us – by concurrently maintaining our dignity and our passion, even in the face of unimaginable offenses.
So we wait. There will be an outcome, which some will embrace and others will decry. In the meantime, I hope you’ll find a few minutes to do something that brings you the joy that cooking offers me. To do so does not weaken our vigilance to the things we hold dear, but gives us the strength to carry on. I offer my personal thanks to all in our community who voted, educated, galvanized and advocated for their convictions.