Larry Thack’s very pleased that State Representative Ronnie Mabra remembered to send him a Christmas card this year.

I hear a lot of talk lately about diversity and multi-culturism, and I must confess I didn’t fully understand the benefits until just recently. It all made sense last week as I shopped my favorite grocery store, Aldi. The diversity in this store is pleasing and helpful in a variety of ways that I’m just now realizing how much I appreciate.
First of all, I don’t want to bump into more people like me – they’re the worst. They talk to me, they judge what I’m buying, and they always rely on me to fill the conversation, which is tiring and stressful.
Also, the selection is small, and I can get in and out quickly. There are only five aisles in my favorite grocery store, but they are typically filled with all the humanity and comestibles Fayetteville has to offer. In this “supermarket” is where the wealthy shop alongside the poor. Sixth generation “Daughters of the American Revolution” yield the checkout to undocumented immigrants and the scant aisles are filled with products that we as a society have all embraced. My heart warms as I watch a new immigrant family reach for the off-brand five hour energy drinks and beef jerky – Are they assimilating at their own peril? Perhaps.
There’s a woman whose chest infection is on dramatic display as she gropes the unpackaged vegetables. This bothers me not one bit – I can wash off whatever she has touched. However, If an acquaintance bumps into me and bores me with details of his weekend at a craft beer festival, well friends, that I cannot wash off.
Eight minutes later and I’m ready to checkout. If I hurry I can get in the line with the large family whose kids are crying in Spanish. There’s always polite jockeying to get in line, and I’ve been cutoff by a man more athletic than me. Standing in line behind him I see the stitches on his brain are still fresh and I have to smile. Unlike the other stores, I don’t have to ask him how he’s feeling – I don’t know him! It couldn’t be a better situation for humanity. This is diversity at its best! This weekly experience makes me feel fully alive. The checkout girl and I share a hasty hello as she fires a week’s worth of groceries into the cart in the time it takes me to decline “cash-back.” Did I mention there are no baggers? That’s one less person to interact with.