In our darkest of hours, I am yet inspired. There are beacons of light all around me.
As others seek to foment insurrection, violence, hatred, fear, irrationality, intimidation, panic, ignorance, and ugliness, you show that there is another path.
All of us, especially those of us in the academy writ large, are the beneficiaries of the great elements of democracy, and so we must be its stalwart protectors, its outspoken champions, and its responsible stewards.
We are the beneficiaries of free speech - let us use it strongly, with thoughtful conviction and wisdom.
We are the grateful recipients of democracy's right to vote - let us protect its sacrosanctness.
We have been entrusted with resources to pursue truth through education and science - let us pursue and accept nothing less than truth.
We have inherited the rules of law requiring the just treatment of all members of society - let us demand their exercise.
As Woody Guthrie wrote, "I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work."
The darkness of the last 48 hours and the longer period leading slowly to them like some ancient Greek tragedy, may lead to feelings of despondency and dejection, of resignation and rejection, of fatigue and fear, of denigration and defeat. But we are not defeated. As others seek to knock us down, we rise.
As we rise, inspiration and light are all around us.
There are many who have lit and continued to light the path of inspiration that guide me.
Where others see a closed door, throughout my life, my mother, Bernice Allison, has shown me an opportunity to knock, knock loudly, and keep knocking until progress is made.
Where others promote ignorance and ugliness, Dr. Sylvia Karasu offers her gifts of writing and appreciation of art to provide knowledge and beauty.
Where others use differences in beliefs as wedges to divide us, Dr. Francis Collins reminds me that such differences are opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and human connection.
Where others promote irrationality and falsity, Dr. Marcia McNutt defends truth.
Where others worship at the altar of outrage, condemnation, and division, Dr. Maresa Murray and Mr. Rory James serve compassion and coalition.
Where others seek to denigrate and derogate those they see as different Dr. David Hayes-Bautista seizes the opportunity to earn and show our pride.
Where others seek to panic and intimidate, Dr. Elizabeth Bradley is a clarion voice of calm.
Where others seek to exhaust and wear us down, Dr. Michelle Cardel illustrates the indefatigability of righteous purpose and commitment to others.
Where others erect roadblocks to or worse yet strive to turn back the clock of progress, Dr. Rita Colwell shows the power of a lifetime of unrelenting and strategic commitment to the arc of justice in inclusivity.
Where some promote complacency and ask us to settle for good enough and just go back to the way things were in recent calmer times, my daughter Sasha reminds me that good enough is not good enough and we must all demand more and fulfill our sacred duty to aid all of our fellow human beings.
Above all, my wife Beth, reminds me that there is love in the world.
I am inspired by the lights around me. I know that you too have lights on your path. I know that you too light the path for others.
Follow the light.
Let your light shine.
Light the path for others.
David B. Allison, PhD