President’s Message: You Reap What You Sow

April 9, 2019

I am often asked why Brian and I enjoy Palm Springs California so much. Well, outside of the obvious (the weather) there are many other reasons. We have been so blessed to know the wonderful people we have met there.  

When we moved to the block where we live now back in 2007, there was a woman there battling cancer. Every day since we first met, I have seen Pat out walking with her walker, with her makeup, hair, and nails all done and a huge smile on her face. Our neighbors had to declare bankruptcy several years ago, and on top of that, they lost their only son to a vehicle accident, yet when we talk they are the most optimistic people, focusing on the good, not the bad. A 91-year-old we know went paragliding for his birthday. Friends have taught us to give bags of food and hygiene items to the homeless. We don’t just hand the bags to them, but we spend time talking with them as well. They are also the first to put together an SOS for an area devastated by floods or for children in need. Friends have shared their stories of growing up gay and the judgment they endured, and how they never want that to happen to someone else. They have witnessed more of their friends die of AIDS than most of us have probably ever witnessed death. They walk their talk and their examples have helped me improve.

So you see it is the weather but more importantly, I become a better person each season I have the opportunity of spending time with all these Americans.

There is an old Chinese proverb that goes, two people were moving to other cities and wanted to talk to the guru about what the move would be like. The wise guru asked the first person, “what is it like where you live now?” The person answered, “terrible, the people are not nice”. The wise guru replied, “your new city will be just like that!” The second man appeared with the same question. Again, the wise guru asked, “ tell me what it is like where you live now?”. The man replied, “The people are amazing. I am going to be so sad to leave them.” The guru replied,” your new home will be just like this.”

There is an old proverb, “ you are what you are reaping”.  My question to all of us is, what are we seeding? Are we like my mentors in Palm Springs or like the person for whom everything is wrong? The choice is ours!

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