Mom Knows Best

November 6th, 2009

My Mom has had, at least as long as I can remember, a serenity and a wisdom beyond anything I have ever known.  I don’t always agree with her position, but I have learned that she is usually right when it comes to matters of judgment and discernment.  Here she is with me:

Mom Peter

Wednesday afternoon, I called my Mom to lament the loss we all suffered in Maine on Proposition 1.

Side note: By “we all” I mean our entire nation.  You see, I believe that as Americans, one day we will look back on all the gay marriage propositions and referenda put on ballots in our states that essentially strip rights from people and be ashamed.  Ashamed of ourselves.  Ashamed for ourselves.  And then we will feel shame as our grandchildren look at us and ask, “Why?”

But I digress.  The irony and ridiculousness of the whole situation is laughable.  But there is no reasoning with people who live their lives in fear, anger, and envy.  They are like steamrollers in high gear without drivers.  No one is in control.

And so, while I was going through all of this with my Mom, her first response was, “But dear, you don’t spend any time in Maine.  The last time you were there was more than 20 years ago.  Don’t worry about them.  They will take care of themselves.  And you’ll see.  All this will get sorted out in due time.”

As an aside, my Mom lives in Connecticut, one of the five states where gay marriage is currently legal.  When Proposition 8 passed in California and I was so brought down, her response was simply, “Come home to get married.  So many of those people in that state where you live are just so provincial.  Anyone who would vote in favor of something as ludicrous as Proposition 8 is a provincial, small-minded person.  Get married here among intelligent people who love you.”

Back to the phone call…  I went onto explain that now I was afraid that President Obama and Congress would be unlikely to help us and stand up for our cause because of the response of the voters in Maine.  Again, her response was more big picture, “But that man was never going to stand up for you, no matter what happened in Maine.  Those people in Congress are fools, too.  Look at what is going on in this country.  They can’t even get health care right.”

She went on to encourage me to live my life by my own ideals.  To lead by example.  “The way to affect change,” she reminded me, “is to change yourself.”

I hung up with her and thought about where we were now versus where we were even just five years ago.  We have seen rapid change in a very short amount of time.  Things will continue to change, but we must look inward first.  We need to change ourselves, and that will ready us and steady us for the changes to come.

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