The President's Blog

A generational memory and our future
Jim Hansen

Every generation experiences an unsettling event that leaves an indelible memory in the minds of everyone who lived through it. These events left each person who experienced it with feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt but it also provides lessons for future generations.

  • Ask your great grandparents about Pearl Harbor.
  • Ask anyone my age where they were when they heard President Kennedy was shot.
  • Ask your teachers where they were the morning of 9-11.

As overwhelming as this all seems now, I promise that at your 20th Hill-Murray class reunion, you will be sharing stories about the Pandemic of 2020. How all professional and college sporting events and Sunday masses were cancelled, how trips were delayed, when the stock market crashed and how no one shook hands anymore.

As the Covid-19 Virus spreads throughout the world, our institutions (schools, churches, sports leagues and governments) are responding quickly and in some cases, changing directions in real time.

Yesterday, several teachers shared with me that some students are scared, concerned and unsure about the events they find themselves in the middle of.

I have learned from my own experiences that there are three “C’s” we can use to guide us.

COMMUNITY

We are a community anchored around learning and respect for each individual with a common set of values. NOW is the time to reach out to your friends, parents, teachers, religious and our staff for emotional support. I know from my own past challenges that there are very few fears, real or imagined, that you will face in your life that cannot be overcome with a friend or your faith by your side. We are all in this together! Talk to your parents about your concerns and HELP reassure those around you.

Community Challenge: Today, I challenge you to send at least one friend a text or Snap them and let them know you are thinking about them!

 CONTROL

Much of the fear and uncertainty comes from our own lack of control over the situation we find ourselves in. This will not be the only time in your life you have these feelings. Relationship failures, health challenges and career disappointments were all part of my own journey. We ALL experience increased anxiety when circumstances highlight unpredictability’s in life.

Focus on what you can control.

Follow the guidelines for good hygiene, practice social distancing as much as you can, spend a little more time at home, read, go for a run, pray. Use this time to make yourself a better person. Today, technology will help you stay in touch without physically being together until we can return to a new normal.

Control Challenge: I challenge you this weekend to call an elderly family member, neighbor or health care worker and let them know you are thinking and praying for them.

CONFIDENCE

Understand that our past is also our future. We can, and will, develop rapid tests for this virus.

We can, and will, develop a vaccine to prevent its reoccurrence.

Our health care system can, and will, respond to care for the majority of those impacted.

Events will be cancelled, others may be streamed, and we may be apart for some time, but school will reopen - this is NOT a permanent vacation.

You WILL experience feelings of fear and uncertainty but can use those feelings to grow as a person and be even stronger in the future.

Confidence Challenge: Think about what you will learn from this pandemic. So far no one under 30 years of age has succumbed to the virus. Once we come out the other side, how will this change you? Did you use this time to find inner strength and a renewed faith you didn’t know you had? Was the event that allowed you to show your friends/family how much you care about them?

The Board of Directors, the leadership group, the teaching staff and the campus ministry team all are by your side. Do not hesitate to reach out because we are here to support you. We can regain control through our shared faith and our community. And our confidence will propel us to become even stronger.

St Benedict Pray for us. St John Baptist DeLaSalle Pray for us.

 

Jim Hansen ‘73

Hill-Murray School  |  President