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Universities are the pulse of a country.

I wish that we had cell phones in the 80s. I wish I had a picture of me on these steps. I was wide eyed and hopeful. I could stand up for any good fight and I was willing to share my opinions. Not much has changed.

I wish I had been on campus the day that Charlotte secretly enshrined Jim to the grounds of Columbia forever. I wish that he was here today for us to talk about everything that is happening on campus today. I wish that the answers were simple.

They are not. When we think that they are is when we get into trouble. When we don't listen to both sides, when we think we know best, we can't. We can only have our opinions. And our opinions count. That is the beauty of this country we call America. And yet, humility is a skill that we can exercise. Recognizing that we may not know the full story is power.

1754. King George II created the 10th university in the United States.

1905. Hamilton Hall was built.

1948. Jewish state created.

1988. State of Palestine declared.

2024. Police state comes to Amsterdam and 116th.

Let's all pray for us, for the students, for Columbia, for the middle east. For all of us. The world is at an inflection point.

To solve for this, talk to your neighbor, learn more about your college students' ideas, dig into the news stories, find out more. Question everything. Build community. Share your stories.

My story involves this beautiful campus, the very buildings they are climbing into, the lawn, the neighborhood, the parks, the smell in the air at 2am when you are just hungry for roast beef on a bagel. Quiet nights on the roof, steel drum bands on the steps of Alma Mater. Walking across campus to write; laying in bed listening to the traffic go by, talking through the night. It is peace and beauty. It is violent and remote. It is ancient and new. It is history and the future. It is hope and it is expectation. It is a magical place. There is no where quite like it.

Our universities are our canaries. Our children our salvation. Are we paying attention?

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