What citizenship means

On Monday morning, a group of about fifteen residents and I met together and discussed what it means to be a citizen. This topic has been on my mind this season. Follow-up message to the residents is below.

Thank you to so many of you who came this morning and joined in our discussion. I am encouraged by your thoughtfulness, your insights, and your commitment to upholding the values that make us stronger.

Specific take-aways we talked about this morning included the following ideas: Investing in causes that are important to us, whether with time or with money. Being active citizens, letting our voices be heard. Respecting a diversity of opinion, but recognizing that opinions formed on the basis of inaccurate facts will not stand the test of time. Standing against words intended to harm, harass, or isolate; and standing up for those who are victims of these words. Practicing empathy, by embracing the importance of “trying on” the perspective of another, imagining what their hopes are, and thinking about how they would make decisions.

Frederick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” I could see the struggle in your faces, and yet I am proud to work with young physicians like you, who hold one another up and bring out the best in one another.

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