Peaceful thoughts at a memorial service for a gay neighbor

I recently attended the memorial service for a gay man.  A was my neighbor. He and his partner were neighbors and friends for a number of years. George was the President of our HOA and would ask my wife and I to help with issues that came up for the association. He was a conservative man who researched issues diligently and spent frugally. I would frequently think about this relationship and how a Catholic, Republican conservative couple and a gay couple could sit together and work out common issues related to the association.

John, George’s partner, was on the Contra Costa Civil Grand Jury with my wife; they were part of a hard-working, conservative group of volunteers who contributed many hours to the Civil Grand Jury that year.

The memorial service was a religious ceremony.  George had donated his body to medical research so the service was presided over by a minister in the back yard of a friend.  Since this blog is political in nature, let me share two political thoughts I have had since the service and share what was handed out at the service; one of George’s favorite writings, it is what is known as “The Paradoxical Commandments”.

The “commandments” are attributed to Mother Teresa and reportedly were found on the wall in her home for children in Calcutta.  My research reveals that the original commandments were written by a Dr. Kent M. Keith in 1968 and re-written by Mother Teresa to make them more “spiritual”.  I believe they are particularly relevant to Republicans today as we fight to overcome our minority party status in California.

First, the two political questions:

According to George and John, many gay men are religious and fiscally conservative; how does the Republican Party capture their vote?

Next.  John talked at the memorial service about the outbreak of the aids epidemic, how many of their friends died, and how difficult it was to a part of the gay community during that period.

And yet, the gay community has thrived and has achieved all of its political goals (remember this is a political discussion).

So my political question is how did the gay community revive itself politically; how does the Republican Party achieve the same goal?  Are there lessons to be learned from the gay community revival?

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

  • Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

  • Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

  • Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.

  • Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, other could destroy overnight.

  • Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

  • Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

  • Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.

  • Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

  • It was never between you and them anyway.


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