Students Challenged to Make a Difference

February 21, 2018

three large posters
Wayland Baptist University students were encouraged to write their concerns about the challenges facing our society on cards that will be collected and used as discussion topics on how best to #BeTheSolution.

PLAINVIEW – In an ongoing effort to #BeTheSolution, Wayland Baptist University students were challenged by university president Dr. Bobby Hall to focus on civility, respect, facts and faith when dealing with divisive issues that permeate society.

In Wayland’s weekly chapel service that was broadcast throughout the Wayland system, Dr. Hall began a week-long emphasis through which students are encouraged to speak out and let their voices and concerns be heard by faculty, staff and administration. Wayland has been focusing on ways to #BeTheSolution in a world where civility and common decency continues to take a back seat to opinion, hatred and political rhetoric.

As part of the emphasis, whiteboards have been set up on campus where student can express their concerns on major challenges facing the Wayland campus and community, as well as challenges facing the City of Plainview or other campus locations and our nation. The comments will be collected and then be the focus of discussion groups during chapel next Wednesday.

Dr. Hall opened his comments by giving examples in which incivility ruled, including a woman giving birth on a sidewalk in Oklahoma with people not offering to help, a mailman in New York ordered from a building lobby after being shot by a sniper because he was dripping blood, government officials who are more concerned with towing the party line than with actually passing a working budget, Republican Representative Joe Wilson yelling “You lie” when President Obama was speaking, liberal commentator Ed Schultz calling conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut,” and the list goes on.

“We are polarized and all too willing to immediately rocket to the extremes, rather than working collaboratively,” Hall said. “We need solutions.”

He pointed to social media as a battleground with “no rules, no respect, no accountability, no civility and no limits.”

Dr. Hall challenged student to rely on civility, respect, facts and faith when involved in the discussion of issues, and to understand that disagreements will exist and sometimes conflict can be healthy. He also asked students to remember that they are not always right and others are not always wrong. He quoted 2 Peter 1: 5-7 as the best way to remain civil in the face of discord.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

“While civility, respect, and facts are important in solving life’s problems, nothing is as important as the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and scripture reading,” Hall said. “It is powerful and dependable. It works.”

Using the Biblical example of the Good Samaritan as a reference to helping strangers in need, Hall asked students to consider what they see when they see someone in need. Do they view that person as a neighbor or family member in need of help or as something else?

“This is how God sees every person – as His own,” Hall said. “We should, too, as we seek to use civility, respect, facts and faith to be the solution.”