Where Do We Go from Here?

Dean's Reflections

Take a look at our feature story this month, "Revolution and Risk." My colleague, Roger Kashlak, Ph.D., discusses the recent events in the Middle East and considers how the political turmoil affects business.  His analysis poses a question of reflection. Why do we seek to foster an understanding of international economic realities? Why is “global” increasingly on the minds of local businesses and leaders?

History has given us moments when economic motives and ethical motives converge, when the helping hand we extended to other nations and other peoples was more than a matter of good will, but also a matter of good business. Social responsibility is an act of human compassion…but it is also an act of economic calculation.

We hear throughout the world the rumblings of discontent. The Middle East is now both a cauldron of turmoil and an incubator of hope. In Haiti, in sub-Saharan Africa, in Asia and Southeast Asia, poverty and illness and hunger are daily realities. We could say . . . “This is not our problem.” But we would be terribly wrong. Today we know that what happens in Beijing affects what happens in Baltimore. What happens in Haiti is felt in Howard County. What happens in the streets of Libya affects Wall Street. The facts are in.

We have arrived once again at one of those moments where we ask, “Where do we go from here? Will we face chaos or community?”

We must not turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the world because we think “it’s not happening to us.”  If we are to sustain prosperity, we must sustain compassion and we must act on the understanding that humanity is one family.

I borrowed those words from the title of the book that the Reverend Martin Luther King completed just before his death. In that book, Dr. King talks of a writer who planned a novel that would tell the story of a family that inherits a home in which they must all live together. The family members had a long history of deep divisions. They had wounds still unhealed, and they had scars from past conflicts. This was not a loving family. But it was a family that had a choice: chaos or community? Cooperation or discord?

Economic imperatives and ethical imperatives are now inseparable. This is why we explore these topics with our faculty, with our business partners, with our students. This is why we expose Loyola students to harsh global realities because we know that understanding these realities is essential to preparing them for effective business leadership.