In San Antonio, on the day before his death, President John F. Kennedy described in detail a boyhood story by Irish author Frank O’Connor. Adventuring through the countryside, O’Connor and his friends established a practice of tossing their caps over high walls—walls oftentimes higher than ones they had scaled in the past. They knew they could not return home without their caps and so would move forward with new determination in the face of a daunting problem.

Thus emerged for O’Connor and his comrades the power of committing to something fully. With the option to turn back eliminated, they devised new methods for recovering their caps, stretching their personal limits in ways previously unimagined.

John F. Kennedy used this story as an analogy for space travel. It seems equally useful for those of us working to tackle the complex, global social issues facing our world today. In many cases, given the dynamic and unpredictable state of our world, it is easy to feel discouraged or even veer off course because the way forward is not visible.

But there is insight, energy, and camaraderie that comes from resolving to take on the work. As you close out the year and begin to reflect on the challenges that call to you in 2020, our hope is that you have the courage to commit fully and experience the freedom and community that brings.

Thank you for being a part of the SICI community.

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