Greenville Journal | 02.03.2012
I ran across a fascinating blog post the other day that plays right into the political prejudices of which we are all so familiar this primary season. The riveting headline read:
“Are Blue States Smarter than Red States?”
As it was written by Illinois blue state blogger Cecil Adams (who authors the syndicated column “the Straight Dope” for the Chicago Reader), I braced for the usual “red-state South Carolinians are dumber than dirt” storyline. To my surprise – and his, apparently – that rationale was not to be.
Adams’ columns follow the Dear Abby model: readers send in questions and he answers them. Any topic is game. The “are blue states smarter” Q&A appeared on Jan. 20, from a questioner who added, “The Republicans certainly seem dumber than a bag of doorknobs.” He also noted (presumably for balance) that the Democrats, while smarter, “seem just as crooked.”
Adams replied that he, too, assumed that blue staters would be “superior to red-state Neanderthals in almost every way.” But after a little research, he discovered the widely circulated “conservatism equals low IQ” theory contains a major dose of self-reverential bias.
The truth? Purple states are the smartest. Red and blue states essentially share the same average IQ (red: 99, blue: 99.5.) For the purple states, the average was 100.9.
Adams based this conclusion on the 2006 research of Dr. Michael A. McDaniel, a management professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business who was intrigued by the topic of “state intelligence.” To come up with a plausible gauge, McDaniel averaged the mean reading and math scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress for every state to award each a “state IQ.”
Adams had his assistant transfer McDaniel’s IQ numbers to a spreadsheet, weight them by population and divide them into three categories based on state voting patterns for the past three presidential elections: Republican red, Democratic blue and swing-state purple. The results you see above.
South Carolina (because I know you’re wondering) scored an IQ of 98.4 on McDaniel’s 2006 chart – 38th from the top – but 10 rungs above blue-state California with 95.5. Blue state Massachusetts came in first with 104.3, but swing state New Hampshire was second at 104.2 and red state North Dakota was third at 103.8. Definitely a polychromatic intelligence scale.
But it’s Adams’ averages that offer our lesson for today. The state residents who were not rigidly liberal or conservative – who, in Adams’ words, “had enough on the ball to consider the choices before them and occasionally change their minds” – turned out to be the smartest of all.
This discovery, he admitted, “has the shock of truth.” States where both Democrats and Republicans have a genuine chance of victory must, by all that’s logical, have voters willing to look beyond party labels and reason outside party group-think (Crazy Newt, Greedy Mitt, Socialist Barack.) Apparently, the mental exercise has awarded them an intellectual leg-up over those states that are consistently, dogmatically, monochromatic.
Now, I know people vote from conviction, and I can no more imagine California going red than I can South Carolina turning blue. But we can learn from Adams’ discovery. Group think can stifle; however convinced we are our group is right. This election season, try some mental aerobics. Read a website, or better still, have a conversation with someone whose political views are the polar opposite of your own. Make sure you understand exactly what they said before you formulate your own response. Listen respectfully. Clarify civilly.
Imagine what we might accomplish.
Greenville Journal | 11.11.2011
I have a new hero. I’ve never met her, but her transcendent grace and clarity in responding to the latest blundering misspeak by a South Carolina politician brought hope to my despairing soul last week.
Her name is Evelyn Lugo. She is president of the state Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a leader in the Greenville Hispanic community, which is why she was a natural to call when the local media went looking for reaction to U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan’s metaphorical misadventures at Furman University last week.
The freshman congressman from Laurens pinned a bulls-eye to his chest when, in a panel discussion on immigration, he compared the nation’s porous borders to a house without a door “that allows any kind of vagrant or animal or just somebody that’s hungry, or somebody that wants to do your dishes for you, to come in.”
He said a bit more about this intruder trying to stay the night and borrow his deodorant, but the damage was done by the time he got out “vagrant or animal.” Reading it was like one of those recurring nightmares where you run and run but don’t get anywhere. I told myself he must have been out of the country when Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer told a crowd in Fountain Inn last year that giving free school meals to poor children is like feeding strays.
The reaction was predictable and immediate. The president of the state Hispanic Leadership Council promised to hold Duncan responsible when he faces re-election next year. Democrats pounced with joy, led by party chairman Dick Harpootlian, who used adjectives like “moronic” and talked about “rhetoric calculated to generate hate.”
Then Greenville News reporter Ben Szobody asked Evelyn Lugo what she thought of Duncan’s metaphoric forays. Her first reaction: He probably spoke without thinking first.
Do you see that? No name-calling. No projected motivations. Simply: he probably spoke without thinking first. Just like that, she granted him grace.
And then she made a plea: we are in another election cycle. Groups of all sorts “will be attacked or used in the name of politics, and that needs to be stopped. Somebody has to step up and say, ‘This is it.’” Our political leaders must lay their politics aside, sit down together and seriously discuss illegal immigration, she said.
“I would exchange everything I have right now just to do it,” she told Szobody.
The longing in that last statement should shame every player in this hopelessly politicized debate. The polarization that tyrannizes us now is worse than useless: it stifles creativity, feeds prejudice, and fosters a farcical self-righteousness on every side. Take Harpootlian, who after blasting Duncan for hate rhetoric, told Szobody “the problem with tea party folks like Jeff Duncan is they’re obviously smoking it rather than drinking it.” Really? And this helps us toward consensus how?
It has been seven years since Congress passed a broad immigration law, and that one came nowhere close to resolving the issues that divide us. They are too complicated, too systemic and too incendiary to do so until we all, every one of us, from the White House and Congress to the voters in the audience, follow Lugo’s example and grant each other a little grace.
That means thinking before we speak and keeping our metaphors to ourselves. No name-calling. No projected motivations. Just the choice to be the somebody who steps up and says, “This is it.”
Hollywood Destroys the World
Greenville Journal | 09.04.09
Mothers of sons see movies mothers of daughters typically don’t. These movies usually involve carnage.
Think Braveheart. The Dark Knight. Transformers (car carnage counts). Nine hours of Orc battles over the course of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Science fiction of the alien variety especially appeals. This explains why I once again found myself in a darkened theater, this time watching prawn-like creatures battle soulless bureaucrats with machine guns, tracking missiles and advanced alien weaponry provoking a pronounced splatter effect.
It is a tribute to “District 9” producer Peter Jackson that he actually had me bonding with a lobster: a heroic prawn with a small son; the only creature worth admiring in the whole film. I fully expect him (the prawn, not Jackson) to return and destroy the earth, or at least Johannesburg, in the sequel.
Which brings me to an interesting point about this particular aliens-vs.-the-world movie: it’s the first one in my memory that begins after the spaceships arrive, rather than before or during.
War of the Worlds, Independence Day, First Encounters of the Third Kind, all start before the aliens land and focus on what happens when and immediately after they do.
Of course, District 9’s obvious parallels to apartheid-era District 6 in Cape Town make it more a metaphor than a strict alien action film. Jackson manages to deliver his message without a whiff of moralizing, too, which impressed me far more than his splatter effect.
But what’s new is his decision to begin his story 20 years after the aliens show up – and it looks like he’s catching a wave: almost all the disaster movies heading to theaters this fall and winter start when the catastrophe’s over.
The Wall Street Journal recently listed a few: Denzel Washington guards a redemptive book in a post-war American wasteland in “The Book of Eli;” Viggo Mortensen stars in a father-son odyssey after an earth-scorching cataclysm in “The Road;” and Tim Burton’s latest, “9,” is about mechanical dolls that survive an apocalypse that wipes out every human.
Even TV has gone post-apocalyptic: Discovery Channel has contestants hunting food, shelter and water in a reality show set in post-disaster end times – and no one gets voted off.
Escapism where no one escapes; how’s that for intriguing cultural overtones. Considering our recent past, the mindset is no surprise: terrorist attacks at home, two wars abroad, a global financial crisis, escalating national debt and a Congress deadlocked over how many more zeroes to pile on at the end. That feels awfully post-apocalypse. Escapism with no escape may be just the ticket for two hours in a darkened theater.
Which brings me back to my lobster hero, the future savior of his race and maybe ours. Mothers of sons learn to look for hope in the carnage.
Maybe he won’t mobilize his crustacean planet to come back and destroy the earth in the sequel. Maybe his unexpected connection with the soulless bureaucrat turned something more (no spoilers here) inspired a tendril of belief that loyalty and courage might be found in others of our race.
Even the most despairing post-apocalyptic movies have someone walking out of the smoke and fire in the end. After all, this is the Peter Jackson who gave these words to Samwise Gamgee: “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
And that’s still true, even after the apocalypse.
Of Children and Milestones
Greenville Journal | 08.07.2009
“Two weeks,” my friend said, with that sudden sheen in her eyes that speaks of held-back tears. As my question to her was “how have you been,” her answer threw me for a second – until I worked out the calendar.
In two weeks, comes freshmen move-in day at the University of South Carolina. The freshman moving in is her oldest. Two inaugural trips. Two dramatically different degrees of anticipation.
She’s been steeling herself for this for 12 months; longer, really. Since freshman year in high school. Since first grade. Since the delivery room.
Doesn’t matter. It still knocks the breath out of you – which I’ve always considered a curious attribute of universal milestones. Graduation, marriage, giving birth, children hang-gliding from the nest: no matter how routine, how commonly faced, the personal reality is an original experience.
I still remember the shock of looking into the faces of my two sons at their births: utter strangers, yet in a sense, more intimately known than my husband, maybe even than my own mother. Ever the journalist, I had read dozens of books, quizzed family and friends, interviewed acquaintances whose parenting skills I admired. Going home with a newborn still felt like rushing a cliff’s edge.
I had that same leaping-into-the-unknown feeling at my wedding, and when my sister told me she had breast cancer. The initial dip in the stomach – the shock of submersion – is the same, somehow, whether the experience is joyful or terrifying. And the fact that millions have rushed that particular cliff’s edge before me doesn’t ease the vertigo a bit.
Of course, that’s because there is no universal cliff edge. Five million visitors stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon every year, where “cliff edge” becomes a unique experience five million times. Travelogues and testimonials can’t begin to match personal reality – be it canyon, childbirth, matrimony, or a 100-mile trip up I-385 in an SUV packed to the roof with the latest in dorm room decor.
Which leads to another curious trait of cliff-edge milestones: unique though they be, life often bestows the opportunity to undergo them twice – from opposite sides – especially when one is a parent.
I can remember my first day of college as vividly as if it happened last week. Hauling endless boxes up the four flights of stairs to my dorm room. Somehow making everything fit in the impossibly narrow space. Meeting my roommate and suitemates. Discovering we all wore the same size. Rejoicing. Walking with my parents, brother and sister back down the four flights and outside to the parking lot to watch them pile into the station wagon and drive off without me.
I was seven hours away from home with no car. I didn’t see my family again until Christmas.
On Christmas Day, I caught my mother crying in the kitchen. “You’re so different,” she said. “But it’s OK. I expected you to be.”
I had no idea what she meant. I know now. As does my friend, which is why August, for her, is a countdown.
She knew this was coming; we all know it from the day we rush that cliff’s edge with a newborn in our arms. As columnist Michael Gerson wrote recently in the Washington Post, it’s the independence we want for our children – to “shrink in their mental universe from sun to star, bright and distant.”
He calls it “the appropriate humility of the generations.”
Even so, it’s a cliff’s edge – harder to jump than we ever imagined, when we saw it first from the opposite side.
My Sister’s Calling
Greenville Journal | 02.20.2009
When I read the other day about people going into teaching as an easy backup plan in a bad economy, I could just hear my art-teacher sister’s comeback: Try a week at the local high school first and see if you last.
An artist who wandered the globe in her youth and chose Peru for her honeymoon, she would tell anyone who asked that teaching’s her first and best work. A calling, not a backup plan.
I understand the attraction of certain jobs in bad economic times. You know the ones: health care, police work, education, anything that speaks of durability. A steady paycheck is a real gift in a down market.
Even so, I was struck by the attitude I saw in reporter Anna Mitchell’s recent story about a fast-track way to become a high school teacher.
The people she interviewed at an introductory seminar said teaching had always appealed to them – as a profession, and a stable job with good benefits.
“As long as kids are being born, we’re going to need teachers,” one man said. You can just hear the unspoken rest: How hard can it be, right?
I remember Cathy telling me once that her favorite classroom moment was when a student suddenly blurted out, “Wow!” over a picture he or she just finished. She said what almost always followed was, “I didn’t know I could do that.”
And he wants to try again.
An interesting thing about siblings, especially younger siblings, is how hard it is to imagine them in their professional capacities. The image of Cathy as high school teacher has always competed with memories of her eavesdropping behind the couch when I had friends over.
There’s also the fact that I left Savannah and she stayed. Siblings who see each other at Rotary are better able to grasp the transition.
But I’ve had a couple of chances, over the years, to visit her on the job. I recommend it, if you have a sibling. It’s quite enlightening.
I knew she was a creative artist. What amazed me was how creative her students were, and how confidently they worked at their assignments. No hesitant efforts anywhere. They listened when she talked and lingered when the bell rang. Several usually stopped by after school to talk more, and not just about art. It was obvious some of those conversations had been going for a while.
Cathy and I have had many debates about education, but those insights into her teaching life are what I remember more.
Think, for a minute, what teachers do. Their students come from all economic, ethnic and social backgrounds. Some can’t speak English. Some arrive hungry, poorly clothed, or lacking basic supplies. All have different learning styles, which a good teacher is expected to understand and address in his or her lesson plans.
The quality teacher also must teach creatively, discipline wisely, react to all comers – parent, student or superior – patiently, and ensure that every child performs at the highest possible level on the avalanche of standardized tests every state requires.
Yes, some burn out and skate through the day. Some skate from the start. But far more see teaching as a calling they strive to answer every day.
My sister was one of them for 20 years. When she lost her life to breast cancer last January, well over half the 600 people who visited us at the funeral home were her students and their parents.
Her art classes created a joyous collage of 50 customized squares celebrating all she taught them, and presented it to her husband that night. I still remember what one girl said: “I didn’t know I could do the things I can do, but she knew. She taught me how to see. We are her art.”
Only a calling can deliver that.
Fathers Do Matter
Greenville Journal | July 7, 2006
The late anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “fathers are a biological necessity but a social accident.” She died in 1978, but the woman was a prophet when it came to reading the culture. She could have been describing the modern viewpoint, except that 21st century science is busily rushing to eliminate the “necessity” part.
Already, 30,000 children are born in America every year to women who were artificially inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor. Roughly half of those going to sperm banks are single women and lesbian couples, according to CBS News. Who needs a man around to time contractions anymore?
But I’ve never believed the din of voices in our culture that insist children can do fine without fathers, that moms can do both jobs and the kids won’t know the difference.
I know that many women raise fine children on their own, and I’m not belittling their struggle or sacrifice. But I’m convinced there is a hole in every child’s life that only a father can fill. I believe it because years of research and societal breakdown say so, and because it’s been my personal experience.
Our culture loves to portray fathers as either (a) deadbeats (b) expendable or (c) moronic. Name one TV dad whose views are treated with genuine respect by his wife and kids. For that matter, name one TV dad who deserves to be treated with respect by his wife and kids. The primetime cartoons are the worst. Would anyone want to model Peter Griffin on Family Guy?
But once a year, every June, the spotlight swings in the other direction. For the couple of weeks or so before Father’s Day, the focus turns to the dads who are (d): none of the above. The guys who help with homework and throw their backs out riding the kids around the house and have wedding pictures hanging in the hall.
The guys who come home to their wives every night and are a daily constant in their children’s lives.
Sure, Father’s Day is a commercial homage aimed at ringing cash registers. But it’s become the one time of the year that society concedes the value of fatherhood – and those category (d) fathers deserve the tribute.
I know; I lost my father to leukemia when I was 12 and he was 37. I felt like I’d died with him. For seven years, my mother raised three kids on her own. She moved us into a garage apartment behind my grandparents’ house, went back to college, and worked part-time at the local high school. She will always be my hero for the way she soldiered through those first, horrible years of grief.
She remarried when I was 19, to a man very different from my father. It was his first marriage, and he acquired two teenagers and a ten-year old with that wedding ring. I guess, in a sense, he was a social accident – but he was a (d) kind of dad. He moved me in and out of three dorm rooms and four apartments with a U-Haul trailer, a mid-sized sedan and a hand truck. He helped me buy my first car, drew patient routes on maps I never read and once drove two hours to come get me when I ran out of gas with no cash, credit cards or idea where I was.
“Can you see a street sign?” he asked when I called collect from the public phone beside the gas station.
“Yes. It says Main Street,” I said.
Sigh. “See if the attendant will come to the phone.”
He walked me down the aisle at my wedding and sat long vigils at the hospital when my first son was born 12 weeks premature. He never missed a grandchild’s birthday until two or three years ago, when congestive heart failure made the drive from Savannah too hard to make. But he’s going to Edisto Beach with us in two weeks, oxygen tanks and all.
That’s what a father does. Yes, a mother can, too, but it’s not the same. There’s a mysterious comfort, a confidence, that fathers bequeath to their children. They parent differently, researchers say. They’re more physical and less intimate, they encourage problem-solving, they’re better at teaching emotional control. And studies show such father-child interactions are crucial to a child’s ability to develop strong, fulfilling social relationships later in life.
Which may be why children who grow up fatherless are more likely to have behavioral problems, go to jail, abuse drugs or alcohol, and become unwed parents themselves.
Turning the cycle around will be a daunting challenge. But we can start, as a society, by praising rather than lampooning category (d) fatherhood – and making that more often than two weeks in June.
Lunatic or Seer?
Greenville Journal | June 3, 2005
Two Fridays ago, my husband left the house at 5:30 a.m. in driving rain to go to Spartanburg so he could ride his bike 117 miles from Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium to the top of Mount Mitchell. This mountain, if you don’t already know, is the tallest on the east coast. It took him 10 hours and 50 minutes to get there, counting rest stops and a brief nap at the Folk Art Center in Asheville.
I figure he’s either a lunatic or a seer. On the lunatic side, 10 hours is an insane amount of time to peddle a bicycle. On the seer side, gas prices are rising. More people are wheezing due to obesity and dirty air. Hybrid cars are suddenly getting more media than SUVs. Maybe cycling really is the future.
He was joined by 999 other riders for this annual Assault on Mount Mitchell, plus 500 more who planned to veer right at Lake Lure to collapse, eventually, in Marion, NC. Cyclists have to survive the 72-mile Marion ride before organizers will allow them to attempt the mountain. This is wise.
Scott aced the Marion ride last year and has been looking forward to Mitchell as if Santa Claus would be waiting at the top with a new $5,500 Trek Madone (the bike built for Lance.) Lots of long training rides. Lots of purchasing of must-have cycling gear from magazines like Performance Bicycle and Colorado Cyclist that appear in our mailbox by the unsolicited dozens. Only credit card offers are more legion.
When crashing thunder woke us on the 20th at 4:30 a.m., I foolishly said, “I guess they’ll cancel.” Such a weak-willie, noncyclist thing to say. People come from all over the country for this ride. Spartanburg hotels were full of cyclists staring into the night like my husband, wondering how many changes they needed to pack in Ziploc bags. He monitored the weather channel. He got on the phone with the two friends who were going.
“The storm will pass,” he told me, the zeal of the quest in his eyes. Aided by obliging flashes of jagged lightening, he loaded his gear and bike into the car and drove off with a cheery wave at me, praying under the porch light.
When a thunderclap propelled our youngest out of bed about 10 minutes later, he looked out the kitchen window and said, “Guess Daddy’s sad about the rain and not getting to go ride.” Au contraire, I said. Daddy is not sad. Daddy is riding. And I rejoiced in his disbelieving stare and the reassurance it offered that the insanity gene had not passed from father to son.
It rained all day in Greenville, sheets of rain, complete with rolling thunder and thrashing tree limbs. He’s wearing ID, I reassured myself. His registration information is on file. If he’s struck by lightening, they’ll call. They have sag wagons to pick up the bodies. If they haven’t called, it means he’s still riding.
He called at 1:30 p.m. to say he’d made it to the Folk Art Center in Asheville, he was covered in mud, feeling great, had found his friend Mel and they were really psyched for the final ascent. Great, I said. Be careful. Don’t linger under trees. “It’s just rain here,” he told me. “No thunder. What’s a little wet and cold when you get to do this?”
I am an indoor person. On a rainy day, my idea of luxury is a Lisa Scottoline legal thriller, an afghan and a hot mocha latte. I enjoy cycling, but as an outing, not a road trip. I don’t fancy pain or helmet hair. I hate to sweat.
And I am a champion worrier about the great bike/car divide – you know, the drivers who think the road belongs to cars and rev their engines and blare their horns and try to squeeze cyclists off the highway. Cyclists like my husband, who obeys all traffic laws, wears loud colors, takes the road less traveled as often as he can, and always, always yields right of way to the bullies on four wheels. So far, he’s seen them coming. I pray he always will.
But worry as I might, Scott loves to ride, and I have learned to live with that. His exhilaration when he called at 7:05 p.m. to say he’d made it to the top and was on the way home thrilled me, too. The awe in his sons’ eyes when I told them was another bonus (and fathers of sons can always use those.)
A thousand cyclists took off for Mount Mitchell from Spartanburg on May 20, and 117 miles later, 663 finished the climb. Eight days before his 44th birthday, Scott was one of them, first time out. Even a worrywart, sweat-hating bookworm has to admit: what’s a little wet and cold when you get to do that?
Greenville Journal | Jan. 5, 2005
I’ll never forget when I first met Bob Jones III, in 1983, at the press conference he held after the university lost its Supreme Court battle to restore the tax exemption the IRS revoked due to the school’s interracial dating ban.
Actually, I only glimpsed him, right before I was escorted off campus because I represented the Greenville News, which was banned from the university campus at the time.
This edict was recent, and had followed a protracted disagreement between the university and the newspaper over its BJU coverage. The editors sent me because I was new to Greenville, had never written anything about BJU, and therefore would be (they hoped) an unfamiliar face amidst a sea of unfamiliar faces.
That last part was true; reporters arrived from the Washington Post, Newsweek, the New York Times, you name it. I learned this because the university PR people asked every one of us who we were and who we represented. I tried saying “local media,” but it didn’t work. I also tried arguing the “clean slate, fresh start” approach, but that didn’t work either. They saw me to my car, and waited until I drove off.
I got the story anyway, because I’d had the foresight to leave a tape recorder with a radio reporter who kindly turned mine on when she did hers. The episode became a mini-drama of its own, and – after more protracted meetings between higher ups of both parties – a truce was declared, and a new reporter assigned to the BJU beat.
This all came back when I read the news of Jones III’s coming retirement in May. And I tell it because it fits so perfectly the impression so many people, both here and elsewhere, have of Bob Jones University: rigid, self-righteous, isolationist, unforgiving – and, most recently, uncool, as pronounced by the chair of the “coolness committee” of Greenville’s Vision 2025 panel.
It seems some on the committee fear BJU’s belief system of “absolute, fundamental right and wrong” could prove a drag on Greenville’s “coolness factor,” and hurt efforts to attract creative 20-to-30-somethings to the community.
Well, I was a creative 20-something back when I was escorted off campus, and I’m still here. I considered the episode as much a reflection of newspaper-community relations as BJU inflexibility. In other words, it takes two. And in the years since, I’ve grown to believe this even more when it comes to the “Bob Jones effect”: it takes two. Two to judge; two to communicate. Sometimes a community’s most valuable assets are its least understood – as I’ve come to appreciate in the three years I’ve been back on campus at BJU, driving my son to school.
Middle school was a terrifying prospect for our rising sixth grader three years ago, for more than the usual reasons. A former preemie, he stood as tall as his second-grade brother and weighed less. A child who craves order, he witnessed his first class change on a middle school tour, declared “that was chaos,” and retreated to the car. We toured many schools, public and private. And then we found BJ.
We learned sixth grade was still elementary school there. One teacher. No class changes. Rules, yes, but rules meant predictability (translate: no chaos). And amidst the high expectations, I learned when I met his teacher-to-be, amazing kindness.
I had explained, with trepidation, about our son’s ADD, and that the medication that worked best also killed his appetite. He did not grow in fifth grade. Not a pound, not an inch. His doctor was researching alternatives.
“Why not go without for a while?” she suggested. He’s too distractible, I said. That’s too much to ask of her and the class.
“It’s more important he grow,” she said. “I’ll put him up front. I’ll work with him. And I’ll pray for him on my knees every night.”
Samuel finished sixth grade with honors, and he grew. So did my understanding of what endures when the definition of “cool” changes – as it always will. And as Bob Jones University changes with its new president – and does not change – Greenville may find much to value in what its people can bring to our community dialogue, and mosaic.