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Bailey Pace

When I think about West Virginia, I think about my home. I have been raised on top of mountains where you can see the sky up close and clouds from above. I am young. But in my short time here I have seen many things: sunrises that inspire purpose, sunsets that bathe your heart in rays of gold, and beauty beyond imagination. I have also witnessed great tragedy. In light of recent events, I want to speak on topics that are very important to me.

In past articles I have encouraged acts of love. There is a very thick book written to inspire love. Some people get lost in the small details and forget to look at the big picture, love. Love is holy. And no act of love should be met with hate. Acts of extreme violence plague our country. Although these events can seem miles away from West Virginia, they do affect us. As Americans, we are bonded. As humans, we are bonded.

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I was born into a world that changes constantly. People tell me every day that things will get worse. Trying to predict the future will not change the past. When hate seems to overwhelm the good in this world, I look to my home. I see the beauty in the world around me, the love in my mom’s eyes, the smallest joys that mean the most. In difficult times it can be easy to turn to aggression, blaming, and hate. But I hope that you make a choice to do what is right even when it is not easy. I hope you choose love.

You might worry that one small person cannot make a difference in a big world. But there was once a man. He was walking down the beach after a strong tide had washed a lot of starfish up on the shore. There were hundreds. This man saw a small figure up ahead. As he got closer he saw that it was a young boy picking up and throwing the starfish one by one back into the ocean. The man said, “Why are you wasting your time? There are too many. What you’re doing won’t make a difference.” The boy picked up another, threw it into the ocean, and replied, “It made a difference to that one.”

You are one person in a world full of people. And maybe you cannot make a difference to everyone. But you can make a difference.

– Bailey Pace. Hashtag #79, July 2016

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks.