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How boring life would be if everyone was the same. If everyone told the same story. If everyone had the same interests, gifts and talents. Difference is needed. Difference is good. Difference is beautiful. But difference needs equality to thrive, and in order to achieve it we need to see our differences so that we can lift up those who are marginalized and who are not equal- yet! As a society, we have a way to go. Can we get there? If so, how do we get there? History has shown, change does not lie in silence or without a price. As I have traveled the world, people have the same basic needs; food, shelter and the desire to be accepted, respected and valued for who they are and the diversity they bring.
I believe, every person has a story and desire to be heard and understood. Marjorie Hinkley said, “Tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine.” I add to her request what I have found to be an important key ingredient; the art to listen with compassion and empathy to walk in another’s shoes. Unfortunately, stories are often not heard or taken seriously until something tragic happens such as the recent murder of George Floyd. That horrific incident woke up America. It stirred black people to take a stand to be seen and heard. It stirred people of all race and walk of life to join in unison saying, “Enough is enough! Black Lives Matter.” Change requires action. It requires listening to understand differences and perspectives. Gone are the days to sit idly by with only a hope that positive change occurs. We must step it up and take to heart the great commandment “love thy neighbor as thyself” and live it! Why do you think God gave us that commandment? I believe it was to learn to live it in every situation and circumstance.
I envision a world where Black people, Asian people, Muslim people, Christian people, Hispanic people, and all human beings feel safe and where equality exists. Is it possible? I believe it is. But only if each person takes responsibility for their actions in regard to how they treat one another. The only thing we are in control of is how we personally respond in any given situation. Perhaps you’ve seen a popular meme shared on social media or a t-shirt that reads; “In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind.” The way we treat one another matters.
We celebrate June as Pride Month because in part, it commemorates the resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBTQ+ people have had in the world. Bisexual activist Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in spearheading the first LGBT Pride march, and she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the beginning of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.
This year, Sarah Kate Ellis, president of Los Angeles-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, told Good Morning America that it's important to remember the 1969 Stonewall riots were spearheaded by many people of color. She went on to explain how this year's Pride Month will undoubtedly be completely different. "We’ll be centering and lifting up the voices of queer people of color, whose struggles are shared by the entire LGBTQ community," Ellis said. "There can be no pride if it is not intersectional. We are Together in Pride.” 
I add my voice of advocacy for humanity. There is much to learn from one another. My family is diverse. We differ in race, religion, politics, and sexual orientation. But we are united in love, trust, and loyalty. When one celebrates, we all celebrate. When one hurts, we all hurt. We are FAMILY and that’s what matters most.
Human rights and equality is possible, one story at a time, one individual at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, and one country at a time. Let’s let those who are desperate, those who feel helpless, those who feel hopeless, those that feel unheard, know that we are LISTENING! It’s time.
Becky Mackintosh is a popular speaker known for her inspirational stories, honest approach, and open heart. She is dedicated to her family and her faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her love for humanitarian work inspired her to volunteer in India and Africa, not to mention the walls of her own home. She is the proud and humbled mother of seven children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren. She lives in Lehi, Utah, with her husband, Scott, in a nest that’s never quite empty.