Finding Meaning Amid Misfortune
April 14, 2020
In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, President Amy Gutmann knows the strength and determination of the Penn community, facing the crisis together, but also apart. In an audio message, Gutmann encourages students, faculty, and staff to stay positive during such unprecedented times—a lesson she learned from her mother.
“These days bring back memories of when I was in high school and my father suddenly died. My life was split in two,” Gutmann says. “Everything that was comforting and good had come before. Now my life was uncertain and more than a little frightening. It hurt.”
But Gutmann’s mom found the means to make other lives better while calming the chaos that disrupted their own. “In the midst of misfortune, she found great meaning,” Gutmann explains.
In the midst of misfortune, Gutmann continues, “each of us can find meaning. Each of us has a calling.”