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Speaking Truth to Community

Sometimes I skim the table of contents before reading the Class Notes. But tonight, Jeffrey Lott’s “Parlor Talk” quote caught my eye before I got to the Notes.

He raises good, important issues about the kinds of news we submit to Class Notes. I remember mulling over such issues a while ago before and during a reunion. I pleasantly found some deeper talk among the conventional hellos. I suspect that the major counter to self-censorship will continue to lie with the few individuals who wish to speak, if not truth to power, then truth to community.

Since it seems some folks in difficulty tend to withdraw, deny, or pretend—often until the environment forces some confrontation with reality—I don’t expect much change in the near future. But it’s still a good thing for an institution such as Swarthmore to acknowledge the problem and at least extend an invitation to speak. To the extent the College facilitates strong friendships among its students, there’s actually some hope that alumni in difficulty might speak to alumni friends.

Daniel Kegan ’65

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