I am so saddened by the news of the occurrence early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The situation that took place is overwhelming and incomprehensible to me. My thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends, as well as all others affected by this horrific act.

Over the years I have noticed such a liberating change in America, not only in the laws of equal rights here, but in how we as a people are becoming more accepting. I have been so impressed especially about how the younger generation has embraced such broader view of all things.

In the light of this extremely disturbing situation it has been so affirming to see the public outcry of support against this hate crime from the entire world. I am so proud of the progress we have made in understanding and embracing acceptance. I will not let Sunday’s incident affect my dealings in anyway, shape or form other than amplify my desire to continue to evolve as an accepting and loving human being.

Anger and fear are important emotions to have. In their proper context they can be beneficial, but even I see them as problematic, in my own circumstances often miss directed by ego or insecurity. I pray for greater awareness of my shortcomings.

Today, like so many others, I try and focus on the greater good to see how I can be of benefit to any and all situations. I believe this is my opportunity, not just my responsibility, and it is where I derive true value in my life. Togetherness amongst family, friends and community is such an important thing. I applaud all those uniting and pray for us as a people to better understand and respect all opinions, beliefs and lifestyles. This as I see it is our most important common unity. With this understanding we can truly build a better world!!

Tom Noel

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