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The Choice to Allow Charleston to "Bring New Life" to All of Us

What a tragedy…nine wonderful people losing their lives at the hands of a misguided, weak-minded individual. What a loss…outstanding men and women who were real leaders in their church and community taken from us in such a despicable way. Most certainly, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends as they work through the after-shock of this terrible event. 

But, yet…look how much you and I can learn from the people in Charleston. Each family openly expressed their forgiveness to the perpetrator at his arraignment. Surely to goodness, you and I can follow their example and forgive those around us…a family member, a friend or someone who “just made us mad.” We can honor these Charleston families not only by forgiving those we need to forgive, but, as these families did, by telling these individuals about our forgiveness.

Another wonderful example…the people of Charleston, from all walks and races, coming together and marching side-by-side in support of the families, the church and the community. This was, in effect, a “we can do better” march. They are certainly doing so, and there’s absolutely no reason why you and I can’t do better, too.

And, the governor and hundreds of politicians calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from public display. Another positive action that is a direct result of this tragic event. But, many of us have this same flag “waving in our hearts”...it’s time for us to take those flags down as well.

Lots of new things. A new connection between people of different color; a new attitude to forgive people around us; a new perspective about old symbols; and a new love between people who have been “at odds” for far too long. A terrible thing happened, but there is “new life” coming from it…now, you and I must do our part to keep it going.

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. Denis Waitley