Unbeatable Determination

  • Head's Note
Tobin Bechtel

Seventy five years ago the Enola Gay, a US B-29 Superfortress bomber, dropped the most powerful bomb ever used in warfare on Hiroshima. While the morality of this action has been continually questioned, it did make a major difference in the course of the World War II. In assessing his decision, President Truman continually emphasized that while the choice to use the atomic bomb was regrettable it saved more lives in the long term. History continually reassesses itself and Truman has been posited as both hero and criminal in the intervening years. It is difficult to gauge how our actions will be judged by future generations. Truman later said that,  "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

It is incredibly important today that we do not build on fear. This is all too easy to do when we are inundated with contrary claims that advocate for wildly different measures and algorithms channel information to us based on our ‘preferences’ through past searches. Fear can shut down empathy and close our minds. I believe the second part of Truman’s claim is what we need to focus on - courage, imagination and unbeatable determination. 

Truman also believed in a collective America and we are in the midst of redefining what that means. My hope is that we can imbue our children with the character dispositions needed to make a difference for our future while giving them the intellectual tools and means to imaginatively, courageously, and collectively tackle the ‘jobs at hand’. This will mean that we meet the challenges of the upcoming academic year with unbeatable determination no matter how the circumstances change. With goodwill our community will indeed ‘carry on’ to provide our children with the best education possible during these interesting times.

  • head's note
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