Once again I’m happy to join others in We Are the World Blogfest – promoting positive news on the last Friday of each month, and, in our sharing, increasing the light quotient in the world.
Our special lead co-hosts for this month are Emerald Barnes, Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Peter Nena, and Roshan Radhakrishnan. You can participate by signing up here, and I encourage you to check out the other bloggers posting as well.
I want to share this inspiring story about a small town in Georgia that’s welcomes 1500 refugees a year and models what it is to meet people with compassion. They’ve been doing it for 25 years. Despite the challenges of poverty in their own community and sometimes hostility from outside. You can read about it here.
I find this so encouraging. While I believe we all can contribute and make a difference in significant ways individually, I think our ability and willingness to act collectively is important.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this admonishment from John Hume:
“Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.”
Respect for diversity IS truly foundational for peace, and may we all, individually and collectively find our way to this understanding. We can’t afford to wait.
This is truly a positive story. I am amazed and pleased to see such a small town in a contentious part of the country do something selfless and good. Great find for this event. Thanks for sharing.
It really is amazing and inspiring isn’t it?! I love these these examples of communities defying the collective “norm” and being wayshowers for what IS possible.
There are so many good stories shared in #WATWB – what a joy to drink them all in.
Thank you for sharing a positive, uplifting story!
Also, if you could, we ask that all bloggers add a WATWB badge tot heir sites. Thank you! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by Emerald – and thanks for being one of the co-hosts of this challenge. Your work, and all of the team, is greatly appreciated.
I appreciate the gentle reminder about adding a #WATWB badge. Because I’m a badge-free I’m choosing not to do that, but be assured I’m spreading the word in other ways as I can.
Such a great story! I come from a very multicultural city and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve always seen it as such an amazing, enriching place to live. Thanks so much for sharing! #WATWB
Belinda Witzenhausen~Writer, Creativity Coach & Artist
I couldn’t agree more Belinda – multicultural diversity offers the possibility of great enrichment and expansion. A beautiful thing indeed.
Very much a high bar for all of us to aspire to meet. Teaching by example. Definitely a good-news story. Thank you for sharing this, Deborah, and thanks for visiting my site today.
They are indeed inspiring wayshowers aren’t they Gail?! And it was my joy to stop by your blog and read your post. I love that we all have such wonderful stories of positivity and compassion to share.
That’s a beautiful story Deborah – and it’s brilliant to see there’s a place for all the Americans – who are many I am sure – who want to help incomers as well.
And I especially love the John Hume quote – he’s a wonderful man, unfortunately not still active in politics – he has Alzheimers, so sad – but he did so much for us here in at least attempting to unite the communities and we are all very proud of him. Have a great weekend. Fil
There is such expansiveness and beauty in the story of this community – it fills my heart with hope. Just as Hume’s work and message does.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well Fil.
I felt my heart melting as I read this story Deborah thank you … and am thoroughly inspired by the generosity of this small town in their welcome of refugees and a few of their stories – those of locals and those of newly arrived. It re-affirms my belief in our humanity and the need and necessity to embrace diversity. Each of our blood runs red …
I’m so inspired by this story as well Susan. And how right you are – all our blood runs red.
Not only is this community welcome wonderful, the way they integrate people into the community just takes it to another level. Well done, Georgia. Well posted, Deborah. Thanks Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB
It really is amazing isn’t it Simon? Well done indeed! I’ve been thinking lots about why this particular community isn’t more widely known as a model. Still I’m certainly glad it’s getting some attention, and it’s a joy to celebrate.
HI Deborah – what an amazing community … and fascinating that once established the refugees need to move on, and leave the community for new refugees … I hope more will be able to get in and experience this town … sounds an ideal situation and then continue to build their lives elsewhere … a great post to read about … cheers Hilary
The more I think about this community the more fascinated I become. Perhaps I’ll have a chance one day to visit.
I have not heard of a community such as this. It is inspirational that they are helping those in need and giving them a way to become independent in the process. Thank you for sharing about this and for being a part of #WATWB
I agree Lynn, it’s very inspirational. And assisting 1500 people in need every year is not an insignificant contribution. It’s amazing to me this isn’t more widely known and emulated.
How wonderful to think that there is some community that can collectively absorb strangers. It is heartening to note this especially in a world that is getting increasingly insular and isolated with trade and other barriers slowly being put up to ‘protect’ themselves.
So true. And I love how you’ve expressed that. “Absorbing strangers” is a beautiful way to think about it. I can’t help but think of a loving compassionate sponge drinking in those in need, and when they are ready to be released they are no longer strangers but friends and recognized fellow travelers all on one path.