Signs of Hope

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Different is Good!

As I write this, it’s now 10:52 a.m. on October 16, 2013, and the U.S. Congress is doing it again . . . or more accurately, not doing it again. In fact, our elected leaders aren’t doing much of anything that's good for us and haven’t done anything substantial for quite a while. Instead, a minority in Congress have been acting like spoiled 2-year-olds who think they’re the center of the world, believe there are no limits, and don’t think what they do has consequences.

It’s time for the rest of us to stand up and speak out for cooperation, respect and promote a new appreciation for the fact that we’re all in this together—meaning LIFE!

Maybe if we could convince the recalcitrants in D.C. to take a field trip to Sarasota, FL, next spring, it might make a difference. That’s the area where my wife and I spend our winters and springs, and it's one of the truly gorgeous spots in the state, especially the marina at Bay Front Park.



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The marina is filled with sailboats and yachts, visited by a few dolphins every now and then, and is surrounded by tall buildings and condos. It even has a top-notch restaurant that overlooks the marina.

But what goes on there each spring is even better. A civic group of residents, co-chaired at its inception by Dr. Samuel Carroll Buchanan, an African-American with a list of achievements too lengthy to mention here, came up with a terrific idea: why not sponsor a public art project that brings people together and affirms everyone?

The result is the posting of several dozen large banners each year in Bay Front Park, under the general theme of “Embracing Our Differences.” Pupils from the elementary grades through high school are encouraged to come up with comments and ideas that embrace diversity and then artists, local and world-wide, are asked to design and produce the backdrops for each banner. Throw in a quote for each banner from a famous world personality, and you have a dramatic and moving exhibit that never fails to inspire and unite those who view the annual creations.

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Here are just a few of the hundreds of banners that have appeared at the marina in recent years. Even if you can’t read the fine print on them, the art work says it all.

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What a world we live in! What a diverse range of people and cultures and talents! What an opportunity to affirm one another in ways that benefit everyone!!!

Let’s each of us become walking banners of hope and respect for those around us and the world at large. Maybe even our lawmakers will catch on, if they see enough of us embracing our differences.

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