By Daniel Hickle ’95, Alumni Board President
As I write this article, we are passing into autumn, and every year this brings a palpable sense of nostalgia and reflection. This year I have been considering some of the principles and ideals I learned while a student and at Augsburg.
As alumni we are all aware of the themes of vocation, caritas (love), and the duty to be an active part of our community. These themes were the foundation of the education we received from Augsburg and are still the foundation for students today.
However, my question is, what does each of these tenets mean to us today, as alumni? Vocation and caritas are defined without much difficulty in our lives. We know that through our education we are able to work in our various fields and through love have lasting and definable relationships with our fellow human beings. But in our hectic lives, how do we define our community?
The notion of community has gone through some interesting changes over the years. We used to define community by main factors of geography and/or common goals and ideals. However, this has evolved over the years with the advancement of digital capabilities and how we communicate. Today we use Twitter, write brief emails, and compose quick text messages to communicate with one another in our closely defined lives. We belong to chatting communities, Facebook, MySpace, and thousands of other digital groups, which could be argued constitute a community.
We cannot deny that technology has given us the ability to stay in contact and have more access to information than ever before, but the question we need to consider is, are we truly following our duty and responsibilities of our fellowship in humankind?
Each of us will have a different answer to this question, but none of us can deny that we are living in a time that needs all of us to actively be involved in the world we live. My call to duty to each of you, as alumni, is to take some time to rediscover the communities in which you belong and consider how you can participate and make a difference. A great place to start is by examining one community in which you belong: Augsburg College. As a member of the Augsburg community, a great first step would be to visit the Augsburg College alumni relations page, www.augsburg.edu/alumni, and go to Get Involved. There are many opportunities to get involved and volunteers are always needed.
I wish you all happy reflections in this autumn season.