Voices of Simmons

Acting Selflessly on Behalf of Others

A Message from President Helen Drinan

I write on Monday after we have finished the process of closing Simmons University's physical operations and begun our first full day operating and learning in a virtual environment. This new environment is the result of a busy week where we witnessed the creativity, resiliency and spirit of our community, which has worked hard to adjust to these unprecedented circumstances. 

It's no secret that this is a difficult and uncertain time for our community, along with so many individuals, families, businesses and organizations across the country. 

While watching and reading the news over the weekend, I was struck by those struggling to come to terms with this period of uncertainty and others working to convey the urgency of the situation. I saw an emerging theme of humanity's being at war with an invisible enemy, a virulent virus about which we know very little. This battle theme has evolved quickly, and seems useful to newsmakers who are trying to get the attention of the population of the world. A sense of urgency is created by viewing videos of empty streets in Italy or the comparative growth curves of the virus in China, South Korea, and the United States. However, urgency seems not to be turning into compliance with the basic actions every one of us can take to minimize the impact of the virus on all of the rest of us.

How can we as human beings influence each other to act selflessly on behalf of one another?

I would like to suggest that under these circumstances, every one of us can and should act as both a leader and a follower: a leader, by learning as much as we can about how to win this war and advocating for those actions to anyone over whom we have influence, at work, at home and in the world at large; and a follower, by having the humility to understand that the rules apply to us as well as everyone else.

The Simmons community is strong, generous and empathetic, and I see examples every day of our students, faculty and staff acting as both leaders and followers. I would very much like to hear from members of our community who want to share stories of how they are helping others, and their ideas about how we influence each other to act selflessly on behalf of one another. 

Please do not be shy — there are many more good ideas in the universe than anyone of us can come up with on our own! None of us knows exactly what lies ahead, and we almost certainly will face even more challenging times and difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months ahead. But during this uncertain period, we can all benefit from stories that showcase the very best of us. Please send your stories and ideas to [email protected].

You May Also Like