Dear Kentucky Wesleyan Family,
One of the goals of Kentucky Wesleyan College is to teach our students to live ethically in a complex world. The question often arises, what is meant by living one’s life in an ethical manner and how does KWC impart this guidance upon its students. The Methodist origins and alignments of our college are steeped within the campus’s mission and help guide the decisions and pedagogical mannerisms we wish to instill within our student body.
One must ask, what is the definition of an ethical life? I believe a nice definition is found in Matthew, Chapter 22, where Jesus stated: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. That is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
The United States was founded on a vision and concept of equality. In the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the nation’s founding fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and entitled to certain inalienable rights. In that time, our nation has struggled toward this credo, abolishing slavery, adopting women’s suffrage, and passing the right for African Americans to vote among them.
As the recent actions captured by multiple videos show, much has yet to be accomplished. Living in an ethical manner demands that equality is not only essential, but paramount for each and every person covered under the protection of the Declaration of Independence. Each time human rights are violated in the name of justice and law enforcement, the ethical manner toward which we strive so hard to achieve is undermined and equality once again set adrift. Laws cannot work for some and not others. Another piece of our nation is eroded every single time a law applies to some societal members while eschewing the rights earned by all.
Statistics show that American minorities, African Americans in particular, are victims of systemic racism. All one needs to do is study the rates of incarceration, health care coverage, unemployment rates, or earned income data, to realize we as a nation have yet to rise to the goal of “all men created equal.”
I encourage each of you to have your voice heard to help right the wrong that has for too long ailed our society. Students, faculty, and staff, please take advantage of the resources at Kentucky Wesleyan College. We are here for you. For our larger family, we are here for you too. You can also have your voices heard beyond our campus! Write to your elected officials. March peacefully, and safely. Join with civic groups in demanding change. History has revealed that this change will not come quickly or easily. History has also shown that it by those of us who care joining together that allows for this change to ultimately prevail. As Martin Luther King stated “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right!!”
Kentucky Wesleyan College students have trodden the path to live ethically for generations. Let us stand strong and make our voices heard to help others follow us along this path and help our nation heal.
Tom Mitzel, Ph.D.