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One of my favorite sources for humor highlighted this topic in the following post.

“Same-sex couples are virtually identical to opposite-sex couples when it comes to age, income, and child rearing according to census data released in the United States. … Just goes to show you, gay people really aren’t all that different from straight people. Except for our extrasensory abilities and ability to wither your crops by blinking, that is.”

Read the entire post here! 😉

So, if this is the case, then why do so many straight people still spend their energies spreading the angst and animosity?

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My Mom used to say: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I am pretty sure my brothers and I were thinking that we had no interest in flies either way! As I got older I obviously understood what my Mom was trying to convey.

The vinegar way could be restated as: how to lose friends and alienate people. Or, how to lose good workers and alienate the one’s who may have to stay. Or, how to lose privileges and alienate parents. Conversely the honey way may look something like: “how to get more productivity out of your employees” or “how to get what you want out of your parents.”

The below thoughts can apply to the work place as well as the home. How can you get more loyalty and productivity out of your employees? How can you get more of what you want out of your parents? It’s your lucky day, I am about to tell you!

Whether it is the work situation or the home front something is present that should not be there, and something is missing that needs to be there. In both cases the thing that should not be there is the sense of entitlement. Again, in both cases the thing that should be there that is missing is respect.

In the workplace: increased entitlement equals decreased productivity. Decreased respect equals decreased morale. Both of those can lead to apathy and a high turn over rate. When an employer feels entitled to exact their “pound of flesh” from their employees and treats them more than minions than the most valuable asset their company has — the end result is much less productivity. On the other hand, in an environment where people feel that they are more valuable than how sharp their nose is at the old grindstone, loyalty and productivity increase.

In the home: increased entitlement equals decreased connectivity. Decreased respect equals increased friction and decreased privileges. Any of you who are parents think of it this way. The more children treat you like maids, cooks, chauffeurs — likely the less you would be motivated to facilitate their demands.

What is the remedy in both situations? Gratitude! Gratitude is the opposite of entitlement. Gratitude is the opposite of complacency. Gratitude greases the wheels of requests. Gratitude can determine altitude. Or once again, more simply stated: “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” See Mom? I was listening!

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As the Prop. 8 trial continues in California it brings same-sex marriage to the forefront of the news in America once again. It makes one ponder the question I know that I have thought of so many times since 2004 when gay marriage started becoming a big political spotlight issue: what are people so afraid of? What it is about same-sex marriage that brings people together on so many levels? What is it about this issue that often times brings individuals together solely for the purpose of striking down any possibility of any relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

If marriage is so special, if it provides a glue and a stability for families and culture… then why not spread it around a little more liberally? You can read/listen to more here about the conservative case for gay marriage.

Time magazine on the conservative case for same-sex marriage:

“Conservatives have long rightly argued for the vital importance of the institution of marriage for fostering responsibility, commitment and the domestication of unruly men. Bringing gay men and women into this institution will surely change the gay subculture in subtle but profoundly conservative ways.”

Here is a Day 4 summary of the Prop 8 Trial.

Update from Day 5 of the Prop 8 Trial.

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Seems like the heavier my heart is the less I say… the less I even breathe. And yet, I think tonight it may help to find some words to express what has been going on in my world.

Members of my family are currently grieving a huge loss. One of the last really good men on the planet. A man who took responsibility for himself, his own actions, his ex-wife’s welfare (until the day she died). His three children, his beloved 2nd wife’s 3 children. Their many grandchildren combined.

This was a man who was a 10 year veteran of the USAF, instructing on the T33 and T38. He flew the F4 Phantom on over 100 reconnaissance missions over Vietnam, earning a Silver Star, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 Air Medals and a Purple Heart. He was a pilot for a commercial airline for over 30 years. Most importantly, he was husband to my sweet partner’s amazing Mom for the last 25 years.

They were an adorable couple! It was within the last couple years that they were visiting our home, and we found some 20 year old pictures of them dancing at a family member’s wedding. I commented that they looked like they were so in love. Jack took the picture and said “Were? We still ARE in love!” ♥ That kind of love is so rare in our world today. ♥

There is nothing he wouldn’t do for his family… as long as it was within his power. About 3 years ago, something happened that was beyond his power to fix. He was diagnosed with 2 kinds of Leukemia. ALL and AML Leukemia. He started receiving various treatments and was given up to 2.5 to 3 years expectancy.

This November (2009) was near the end of that expectancy window. He had a close call in the hospital and my family went down to see him (I am usually the one here at home holding down the fort and taking care of the pets… as well as the kids when the get flown back home after a couple days). I’m the behind the scenes support person. Thankfully my partner is extremely good at frequently articulating her gratitude and acknowledgment that she could not be doing what she needs to do without me at home taking care of everything else.

This last week my partner got word from her Mom that things were declining quickly. She then traveled to help her Mom through the last few days of Jack’s life. Those last few days of life are in no way shape or form easy. Leaving this mortal coil is not at all peaceful. I always wondered when people would say “well at least they went peacefully.” I don’t think that is hardly ever the case. Jack decided around Thanksgiving after that last trip to the hospital to come home — since there was nothing else the Doctors or hospital could do for him. He wanted to have some sort of control over how and where he would spend his final hours.

In the end? No control. All you can hope and pray and plan is that you have been a person of such love, integrity, care and humility so that you have been able to surround yourself with the kind of people who will not only care for you right up until the very end… but will lovingly protect your dignity right up until that last moment… the last breath.

Someone I respect once told me that when we are hoping to help someone in need, or someone who is grieving a loss — that is most important is being… not doing. My partner is so very good at that with her family. She has been invaluable throughout these last three years in her ability to just BE there for her Mom. While we all miss her at home this week… we also know that Jack was so special a man that we would gladly do without her while she lovingly and respectfully helped her Mom take care of Jack during his final restless and relentless hours on this planet. She has the gift of being… and I have the privilege of being a part of her family.

We will all miss you Jack!

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