When we speak about the Common Good, it does not suggest that we are all the same or we have everything together in common. We have some things in common, such as Trinity-Pawling, but we are a mosaic. We bring our own experiences, backgrounds, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses to this common space. For the Common Good to be good, it must be diverse, made up of people with different gifts, talents, backgrounds, experiences, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and political views.
During the midst of winter, I challenge us all to remember that we have standards to maintain. Most of these standards, especially during a global pandemic, revolve around two main principles — respect and safety.
In a community that is diverse, the armor of light that we wear to live in this community is to RESPECT the differences in our midst. Respect the humanity of each member of this community. Respect the fact that we will come from different places, different experiences, and different perspectives.
We live in a world and a nation of historic and profound disrespect. There has been and is profound disrespect for the racial injustice that has plagued this country for too long. This summer’s protests and the Black Lives Matter movement is a powerful statement that this disrespect will no longer be accepted or tolerated. There has been and is profound disrespect for the contributions of women and that these contributions should have equal value as those of men. There has been and is profound disrespect for different religious views. There has been and is profound disrespect for those who have different political views than our own. And, on January 6th, there was profound disrespect for the citadel of democracy, and those who fought to defend it, that distinguishes this nation.
When we become a member of this community, we acknowledge that we will be civil to one another, we will respect one another, and we will find community with one another. If we cannot do this, then there will be no common good. And, if there is no common good, then there is no Trinity-Pawling. Value one another. Value yourself. Value your potential. Roll Pride!
by William W. Taylor