Dear Salt Lakers,

In light of what’s happened in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, I think this straight couple’s words are strikingly poignant:

‘We’re here at the Pride Festival to see friends and to watch people. There’s still a lot of ground to overcome to establishing true acceptance of differing lifestyles…there’s a vast majority of people, especially in Salt Lake City, who don’t accept this type of lifestyle. People need to grow up and recognize that there’s no threat. It’s a new world…a new life. Things aren’t the same as they used to be and people really can’t be so close-minded anymore. If people were to grow up, things would be so much more civilized. Acceptance goes a long way but people need to be allowed to be whoever they choose to be.’

On that note, I’d like to encourage all my followers to keep the people of Orlando who have been affected by this act of violence in your minds and hearts. Please remember that we’re all human…we’re all imperfect in one way or another. We all have a responsibility to accord each other the simple dignity of respect, even if we don’t or can’t agree. We face so many challenges and life is difficult enough without us hurting each other. Here’s hoping, once again, that we can learn from this tragedy…and to look hard at ourselves…to be compassionate and appreciative of the value of every human life. May we all be reminded to continue to work together and to keep believing that all hope is not lost.

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