February 23, 2024

President Paino Column Published in Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mary Washington President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Mary Washington President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW President Troy Paino had a column published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The importance of community in times of COVID-19,” on April 25.

Loneliness, isolation, social distancing. Our lives have been disrupted in ways we could not have imagined just a few weeks ago. While we know that now is not the time to leave our homes or relax our commitment to social distancing, now is the time to think about our lives after the pandemic ends. What will we have learned?

I am dubious of attempts to explain the particularities of anyone’s sorrow or the reasons for the more general suffering visited upon humanity in times of war, famine, natural disasters or pandemics. But amid the suffering, it is important to try to learn what the experience has taught us about ourselves and the world in which we live.

While nobody welcomes what we are going through, we have an opportunity to find meaning and purpose amid our collective suffering. In fact, suffering lays bare those things that infuse our lives with purpose in contrast to those things, while costly in time, energy, and money, that offer little in the way of enduring happiness and meaning. Read more.