Sunday, November 16, 2008

Affirmation of Rights

Have you seen the San Diego mayor's press conference on YouTube? (Click on Brian Alexander's blog, to view the November 14 posting.) The mayor's commenting on his decision to support a resolution that allows gay marriage; and in the process, he shares that his daughter and members of his close professional staff are gay and deserve equal rights. As he struggles through emotion-choking sentiment, you realize how it is possible for people to change strongly held, but prejudicial, beliefs once they are given the opportunity for intense reflection. That point was brought home to me, literally, when my mom, Susan Pittmann and her partner, Christine Puckett, were murdered in the front yard of our farm house in Michigan. The murders occurred during the day on a paved and frequently used street- Middlebelt Road in Romulus, Michigan. How could the crime occur without someone seeing the incident and calling the police? It was done in the open within full view of the neighbors and passing cars. (I've written in more detail about the murders in the Goodbye Sun October 31, 2008 posting.)

If we could live up to our highest potential as human beings perhaps these ordinary hate crimes would come to a halt. Eleanor Roosevelt's Universal Declaration on Human Rights speaks to this topic:

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home-so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

Thank you, Eleanor, for your pioneering vision that we are still struggling to uphold. Thank you Brian Alexander for your efforts to bring visibility to this issue through your upcoming documentary. And thank you mom for your courage to live an authentic life, empowered by your belief that all human beings have a right to seek happiness, and for being an example of a person worthy of emulation. In our karma yoga of peaceful action, let us hold the thought that all people are united in their efforts of attaining equality for all.


The photo above is of Mom's graduation from Wayne State University; she was awarded a BA in Social Work when she was 50 years old! Notice how Christine looks on with pleasure while Mom's overcome with the pride of accomplishing her life-long dream; yes, she attained her pig-skin as she called it-Mom was not a vegetarian!

And Brian I hope you don't mind that I imported this picture from your blog.

Here is a link to an article in Penn State's paper that highlights the problem of hate crimes:


  1. I'm so impressed that your mother graduated after she had raised a family and was a mature woman. It's good to know that many timelines are false; that a lot more in life is possible, if we just think about our dreams, make a plan, and believe in ourselves. May we all honor our mothers for their wisdom and decication to our health and happiness. And may we honor them even more when they decide to grow into independent women-just as your mother, Sue Pittmann did. Right on, sister!
    It's worse than a shame that she was murdered; she had a bright dynamic spirit and a lot yet to offer. I read that she was a founding member of Affirmations, a support group for people who are coming out; and that she had a mile long line of cars following her to Parkville Cemetery in Farmington Hills. She was well loved, I know because I have met people who knew her in Michigan. They said she cared deeply for others in distress and would sometimes let people live with her while they were getting their lives together. You wrote that she majored in social work but I think she was already doing social work-the kind that matters-sharing with and supporting people-passing on what she learned in life- even to you, Cynthia. You also share your love and life freely with us here at Oasis Writing Link. It makes sense that your heart wisdom comes from her. This phrase from the Divine Mother mantra is appropriate, "...those who take refuge in you [Divine Mother] invariably become a refuge to others." (I think it means that you honor the energy of compassion and that you nurture others.) Thank you for your sharing and your refuge in the Oasis Writing Link. Om

  2. Cynthia
    The comment before mine by Adi Shakti
    is so brilliantly and beautifully stated that I feel these things shared to bringing tears. I can see so clearly how you are blessed to have had this mother. I cannot see the reason for such a tragic loss. I am only grateful that she produced such a beautiful soul in her daughter


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