Last year, a group of us at First Presbyterian Church read and discussed a book and documentary film called “Being Mortal.”

Not only did we come away with a deeper understanding of health care and end of life issues, we were introduced to Dr. Atul Gawande, a brilliant surgeon, researcher, and writer who is making a significant difference in how we understand health care, both at the personal and family level, and as an issue of national importance.

His contributions to the well-being of the citizens of our country will be felt for many generations. Dr. Gawande is the child of immigrant parents. So to suggest, as Rep. Steve King has recently posted, that diversity does not strengthen our nation is not only narrow minded, it is demonstrably false.

We who have benefited from the insights, research, and other constructive contributions to our society by Dr. Gawande and others like him are grateful for the strength of a diverse population. Wisdom and compassion and service to others knows no boundaries — political, cultural, religious or otherwise.

Rev. Paul Collier, Mason City

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