“You can train your mind to not only handle the unease that comes from having to consistently act without having all the answers, but embrace and invite it as a signpost that what you’re doing matters….learn how to dance with the unknown.” - Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty
16 years ago today, at 8:46 a.m., our world changed in an instant. It was one of the saddest, darkest, most horrific days in history.
And just in the past two weeks - vicious hurricanes in Houston and Florida; wildfires throughout the West; a monster earthquake off the coast of Mexico; and a security breach at Equifax exposing the personal data of up to 143 million Americans - nearly half the country.
Every week, we are reminded that we live in an uncertain world. And in the midst of this uncertainty, we witness acts of strength, resilience, and courage.
As a little boy, Welles Crowther’s father, a firefighter, gave two handkerchiefs to his son as he dressed for church one Sunday morning: a white pocket square and a red bandana to blow his nose. From that day, Wells kept a red bandana with him everywhere. He wore it under his hockey and fire helmets as a teen and under his lacrosse helmet while playing for Boston College. He carried it in the pocket of his business suit every day as in investment banker.
Welles went to work on September 11, 2001 in the South Tower when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the building. As the smoke engulfed the 104thfloor, he put on his red bandana as a protective mask. He is credited with helping at least 10 people escape the South Tower. Wells died that day saving other’s lives. Welles’ poignant story is told in a new, just-released documentary, The Man in the Red Bandana. We will show the documentary in our Rawson Learning Commons later this semester.
One of Welles’ co-workers once teased him about the red bandana on his desk. Welles answered, “This bandana’s going to change the world.”
We teach our students that often there are no clear answers and they must make decisions with less than certain information. We train them how to be resilient, thoughtful, and creative problem-solvers when there is less than a clear path to safety and success. In that way, our graduates are prepared to change the world.
Please join us at our C|M|Law Hall of Fame Inaugural Celebration on October 19, 2017, 5:30-8pm when we honor leaders whose resilience and strength have helped to change the world.
Have a great week.
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.