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To Foster Love and Community

When I think about the ideal place to live or work, there are lots of considerations I take
into account – but at the top of my list is the idea of cultural diversity. Growing up overseas and
having worked overseas, I highly value the idea of having a broader worldview that leaves room
for people to be different from myself. I have friends and “family” from all over the world and
one of my favorite things is learning more about their culture and customs as a way to better
relate to them.

I tend to look for communities that foster this idea of valuing others who are
different.

Now that Grand Rapids has been my ‘home’ for three years, I can happily say that it does
well to meet my expectations of multiculturalism. Not only are the ethnic restaurants to die for
(shoutout to my top three: Sheshco, Gursha & El Globo), but the community that is fostered
here is something that I have come to really appreciate. From the festivals of different heritages
to the refugee programs led by Grand Rapids natives, I love the focus on hospitality.

Bob Goff says something along the lines of ‘find people you don’t know and run
towards them.’ And while many may think this can only be done by moving across the world,
the reality in Grand Rapids is that those people may be just across the street. I hope the people
of Grand Rapids continue to grow in their desire to learn more about each other because it is
hard to love the people you don’t know.

Isn’t love the main reason we’re here after all?

I hope that as our 7th Row team continues to grow that we add to that sense of
community that Grand Rapids already exhibits. I also hope that our love for people, no matter
their differences, is felt as we interact with this sweet city.

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