From Dayton with Love
Winter 1991. It was my senior year of high school and I visited the University of Dayton in Ohio. I was only there for a sporting event with my dad and my godfather (an enthusiastic UD alum). My plans for college were already set, and I made it very clear that I had no desire to tour the campus as a prospective student.
As it turned out, the warm, nurturing spirit of the school was far more impactful than an official tour, penetrating even the most stubborn adolescent heart!
Friendly smiles. Students holding doors for one another. Abundant Dayton Flyer pride. Palpable goodness.
When I entered the student union, my fate was sealed. Tons of students and staff were hard at work, preparing for a big event. The place was alive! I asked a student what they were up to, and she told me about an annual project called Christmas on Campus—an event that welcomes over 1,000 children from the city schools to campus for an exhilarating Christmas celebration!
I went home feeling filled up and certain I wanted to be a Flyer.
One weekend, marked by the spirit of kindness, changed the course of my life.
And just this week, I found myself right back in that cherished student union—standing on a stage, looking out at a whole new generation of University of Dayton students, sharing a keynote message about kindness! The campus community has embarked upon 40 Days of Kindness for the season of Lent, and I had the great privilege of celebrating with them.
So much has changed since my days as a UD student. New buildings have sprouted up everywhere. The post office is now a coffee house. The tennis courts are an open field. And the students all have these newfangled devices they carry around, occasionally typing something with their thumbs:)
But one thing is exactly the same.
That kind, welcoming vibe is still intact.
And when I spent some time on the university’s website, I realized why.
It’s part of their mission.
The philosophy and mission statement include goals like inspire students to create a better world, and strive to develop compassionate hearts.
When we are clear about what we expect, and we lead with joy and kindness, others will begin to follow. Maybe even for generations!
I think we would all agree that our world needs more positive energy, more love, more goodness. We may not be able to make big changes immediately. But we can be the good right now, right where we are. Within our own lives. With our families. In our schools. In our workplaces. In our communities.
Just by expecting kindness and doing our part to create an atmosphere of love, we are setting something profound into motion. We are building a firm foundation, a legacy, that can stand the test of time!
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” John Wesley
Ps. I won’t make a habit of posting on a day that isn’t Wednesday! I’m just a little behind on life this week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!