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Opinion: Gratitude with 4 Ways to Make a Difference

I want to thank some people before any more time passes.

Thank you Reverend Corey Lyons for leading the peaceful parade and protest yesterday. Your example of having pride with humility is to be commended.

Thank you Big Show, also known as Fletcher Collins, for stepping up for unity in our communities. Your willingness to say what needs to be said is refreshing. People should listen.

Thank you DJ Al Boogie,  Albert Lewis,  your Sunday Inspirations are inspiring and your barbershop is a huge asset to our community.

Thank you Kenneth Armstrong. Your photos say things that can’t be said.

Thank you WBLA gospel Diva for shining the light.

Thank you Elizabethtown Police Department, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Tony Parrish along with Sheriff Jim McVicker. You all are an example of how we can have peace with law-enforcement.

Thank you Commissioner, Arthur Bullock Councilman Ricky Leinwand and lead prosecutor Quintin McGee. Your leadership in our communities is appreciated and needed.

Thank you Pastor Pia Jessup and all the other pastors who have shown care and concern over the past week.

All these people and more have helped to start the healing in our land over the past week.

Yesterday, Rev. Lyons, Big Show, Sheriff McVicker, and Chief Parrish set the perfect stage for our community to create change.

Here are four ways people can help create peace and healing.

The protesters yesterday kneeled for nine minutes in memory of George Floyd’s murder. On the hard asphalt, people of all ages, colors, and backgrounds humble themselves. Start this way for at least nine minutes. You can be silent, you can pray, you can meditate, you can think about injustice, but humble yourself.
Offer water and masks to peaceful protesters and community members gathering to discuss these tough issues. (Big Show is planning “Stop the Violence” march on June 13.)
Hold community leaders accountable. Talk to elected officials, pastors, and others about what needs to change. Write letters, send emails, follow decision-makers on social media. Communicate.
Participate in community forums. If there is not a community forum in your area plan one.

Together with our differences, we can set the example of how to make the world a better place

Peace and love.

Charlotte Smith

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