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"Thank ya'll for accepting me."

Last night, as Darius Rucker picked up his New Artist of the Year CMA award, he thanked the fans for accepting him. Also known as Hootie (as in "and the Blowfish), Darius had a lot stacked against him when he decided to make the leap to country.

Those five words - if our organizations, nonprofits, companies, stores, churches, support groups, book clubs, and neighborhoods can allow people to say them, then we're doing something right.

It's easy to shut people out. Just build a wall. Make a bunch of rules. Discriminate.

It's much more difficult to allow access and embrace others. It's risky. It makes us vulnerable.

And in the end, only one will make your life - and the lives of others - better.

Photo by BOBXNC

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