Find peace and strength through diversity, change

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: I am a northerner who chose to move to the South for a number of reasons. I was born and raised in New Jersey.

The opportunity to move south went from dream stage to reality. I knew the first time I drove into Calabash and saw the lush green foliage, I had found home.

It distresses me greatly to read so many of the ongoing battles in your editorial pages. While I greatly respect the right of others to express their opinions, the labeling, finger-pointing, and name-calling succeed at nothing. They only succeed in causing more division.

God has created this great world, and it certainly is diverse. Did you ever stop to think this plan was not by accident, but that we all learn to grow, learn from each other and live together in peace?

I used to run a group in spirituality at a hospital in New Jersey for mentally ill patients. It was a delicate balance to bring spirituality to these patients in a secular hospital situation.

It was a challenge God gave me. It was a challenge I met. When I saw the light come on in dulled faces, faces that knew little love or hope for the future, it blessed my day.

The challenge for me became: How do I reach the other? How do I reach this diverse group? Many of these people changed from week to week. They were strangers, outsiders—people one would normally not associate with.

I started each group with the following: “We all know that every snowflake that falls is different and unique. So too, each one of us is different and uniquely made by God. Each one of us is greatly loved for who we are.”

I challenge you to look for what is different and unique in your neighbor, celebrate the things you have in common, and try to learn what God intends for you in what is different. It may be through a written word, such as an editorial, it may be over the backyard fence.

The diversity we bring to each other is an opportunity to create strength and peace through understanding and respect. On the other side, we can allow it to create unrest, distrust and chaos.

It is your choice of how to live in this diverse world.