Today marks the end of an era. A friend of mine, if you met her or if she helped you she’s a friend of yours, too, concluded her service to the title industry. She didn’t choose this date. It was chosen for her by the data company that many of you have worked with. It isn’t part of the Evil Empire nor the bloodless empire. It was independent. She helped grow the company. She helped you and your sales rep grow your book of business, too. We knew this company succeeded because its chief competitors were incompetent. We knew, too, that if a competent competitor came along, we’d be in trouble. Mr. Foley bought a company and grew that competitor. Our company became just one more incompetent competitor to conquer. Our company’s lame management helped the Evil empire every way it could. She watched in horror as the company turned its back on the title industry and it turned its back on her. Today she is on the outside looking in. Another title expat. We welcome her to our very large and distinguished community.
Please excuse the following stream of consciousness. Somewhere between the beauty, they pomp, the injustice and today there had to be something to pull it all together.
This weekend I was in San Diego for a wedding. It was a beautiful wedding in a pretty church in La Jolla. The bride’s parents did a great job planning and throwing a first class ceremony and a first class party. Unfortunately the guests of honor weren’t so good. The bride and groom and their friends, in the wedding party, stood before the assembled friends, family and well wishers. They didn’t mingle (none of them did, including the bride and groom). They kept to themselves as if they were at the kids table at a family gathering. Weddings are a celebration of inclusion; the community of adults welcomes another couple into the community. We celebrate their relationship and their decision to join us and to become productive neighbors and friends. Their mothers and fathers let go of the celebrants as children and welcome them as equals. Somehow these upper middle class, college educated early 30 somethings thought they had accomplished something and they were being celebrated. They deserved a $40K party, in their honor, and they were going to take it. When did that happen? When did the expectation that children become adults instead of adult children change? When did kids think anyone cared when they woke up or how much they drank the night before “OMG, I’m sooooo hung over!”? Watching these kids was like watching the final episode of Seinfeld; after it was done you realized there wasn’t a likable character in the bunch!
They weren’t being celebrated. We, the assembled, were celebrating the continuation of community. We were welcoming them into the community of adults who make commitments, plan for the future and participate in the lives of others.
The church was conservative Catholic. One of the gathered was a nun. She is a well educated hospital administrator. She ran a Catholic hospital in the Phoenix area (I swear, Arizona is challenging Texas as my least favorite state). The hospital had a patient who was 11 weeks pregnant with her 5th child. The pregnancy was killing her, literally. She was experiencing heart failure. One side of her heart had failed. She had 2 days to live, at the most. She was too frail to be moved into the OR much less another hospital. The nun allowed her faith to guide her decision. She allowed the doctors to terminate the pregnancy so her 4 children would have a living mother. The Bishop excommunicated her for allowing an abortion to take place. He said her faith should have told her it was God’s will that this unborn, unviable fetus claim her life and leave his/her sibling without a mother. She knew that God would forgive her sins if she understood them and she asked for forgiveness. The Bishop thought we aren’t supposed to question God’s will (and implicitly he knew what God’s will is). She needed to be punished so he excommunicated her. There were priests, in that diocese, who weren’t excommunicated after molesting children! This woman, should inspire us. She should inspire the bride and the groom, the data company who lost its way, the Burgermeister and the evil empire should take notice, too. Sometimes, in a community of adults, you have to do what’s right. If you know what you’re doing is right, the rest will take care of itself.