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Watching a seven-year-old child sign one of the 49 crosses at a makeshift memorial outside Orlando Regional Medical Center painted a vivid picture of how fragile life can be. It is still not fully known what motivated the killer at Pulse nightclub to commit such a horrific act of hatred. However, there is one thing about the killer that is absolute: he had no regard for human life and no tolerance for differences. As we work together in affordable housing to reach common goals we should be reminded that if we are to be successful, compassion and tolerance of differences must be paramount to all else.

When we work together harmoniously with a mental disposition striving toward common love and purpose, we have the greatest opportunity to be successful.  Valuing each other’s differences creates an atmosphere for compassion and unity. Unity is more cohesive than belief in a particular creed, certain ceremonies of worship, or even practical belief and devotion. While these have their place and importance, the test for all of us is to ensure we share the same attitude toward life and a desire to know and understand each person’s value. We should strive for harmony in both life and the workplace and demonstrate our inward positive disposition through our words and actions.

When honors are at stake, we must have that humility not to grudge if the honor is awarded to another; rather we should take pride in the other’s distinct qualities singled out. Petty jealousy over honors, rewards and status has to be cast aside for tolerance of differences.

Our relationship with each other should be one of consolation, comfort and fellowship. If we have these attitudes in us—compassion, encouragement, love and empathy–then these will be the attitudes which fill our lives.

This will make us ready to have a disposition that values the worth of all humanity. So never give up, never give up, never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten