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Released on Sep 11, 2023
Monday Morning Message 9.11.23 Make Your Torch Burn Brightly.

“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”  -Ernest HemingwayA Farewell to Arms

“Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” - George Bernard Shaw

22 years ago this morning our world changed in an instant. It was one of the saddest, darkest, most horrific days in history.

Most of our students were a just a few years old, but for those of us old enough to have lived through every moment of that day, it is a day that is impossible to forget. 2,977 people were killed in the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history.

There are countless lessons to be learned from that horrific day. One of them is lean into uncertainty.

From natural disasters throughout our country and the world, to terrorism at home and abroad, to senseless gun violence in our neighborhoods, we are reminded every day that we live in an uncertain world.

And in the midst of this uncertainty, we witness acts of strength, resilience, and courage. We see people who have grown stronger in their broken places.

We teach our law students that often there are no clear answers and they must make decisions with less than certain information. We teach them how to be resilient, thoughtful, and creative problem-solvers when there is less than a clear path to solutions and success.

Another lesson is to live in the present and to live our lives with a sense of urgency.

As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” None of us knows what will happen tomorrow.

It’s hard to put our challenges, frustrations, and setbacks in perspective because they are front and center in our lives.

Think about those who lost their lives on September 11. In the Maui wild fire and Morocco earthquake. In the 400 mass shootings in our country just this year. Those who gave their lives for their city, state, and country.

All would long for the chance to be alive and have even our most difficult problems.

Each of us is carrying our own torch that we have got hold of for the moment. Make it burn as brightly as possible.

Have a great day and a great week.

 The views and opinions expressed in my Monday Morning Message are solely my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the law school or the university.

My best,

Lee

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