“We look for the light,” Managing Editor of The Christian Science Monitor Amelia Newcomb told a Wanamaker Hall audience packed with students and homecoming guests. At the front was a panel of Monitor correspondents uniquely poised to address the night’s topic: Bridging the Divide in a Divided World. “We know [the light] is there, no matter how dire the situation seems to be,” Newcomb continued.
Principia’s 23rd annual Monitor Night Live took on an unexpected gravity as just a week prior the world watched the fires of conflict ignite between Israel and Palestine. “We all need what The Monitor and this conversation have to offer more than ever,” said College President Dr. Norton in his opening statement, a sentiment underscored by audience engagement.
Students proved eager to sink their teeth into the evening’s topic, as queue lines for questions ran three people deep in both aisles. They asked questions as aspiring journalists and as conscientious world citizens—questions about connection, healing, and process. The well of interest ran so deep that even after event coordinators called an end to the evening, students and guests continued to mingle with panelists, keen for meaningful engagement on the topic.
The Monitor team rolled up their sleeves and engaged just as deeply. Pulling from lessons learned on the beat, panelists responded to questions with messages of forgiveness, celebration, and acceptance, encouraging audience members to take meaningful steps to bridge the divides in their own lives. “Some of these world problems seem so insurmountable,” commented Chief Culture Writer Stephen Humphries, we all need to ask ourselves, “What are the divides we can personally take on?”
The evening left the participants with an underlying message of bravery—bravery to love in the face of hatred, bravery to challenge our perceptions, and bravery to take the first step, as demonstrated by the panelists’ accounts and audience responses. “A lot of hate jumps to the front of the line,” said Newcomb. “Part of our job is making sure everybody can hear that people are advocating for peace.”
“It’s so corrosive when we have a sense of anger towards another person,” Humphries added. “It’s important to do that inner work [of forgiveness] and see where it leads. I think that has a ripple effect on the world. …It makes all the difference."
ing a scene through tiny details. Was his sentiment “met with applause”? was it “delivered to a room of knowing nods”? or “underscored by murmurs of agreement”?