Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Church will never Approve Gay Marriage. . . .

Tags: donohue | church | gay | marriage

Catholic League's Donohue: Church 'Will Never' Endorse Gay Marriage

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 05:59 PM
By Bill Hoffmann
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The remarks Pope Francis made about accepting gays this week should not be seen as a liberalization of Roman Catholic Church values, according to Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

"In terms of substance, there's nothing startling about it … The Catholic Church has always taught that homosexuals and heterosexuals are equal in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the Catholic Church," Donohue told David Nelson, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newmax TV.

"They possess equal human dignity and it is wrong to bash people whether they're gay or straight."

Urgent: Should the Pope change the Catholic Church?

On Monday, Francis jolted reporters when he said of homosexuals, "If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? … They shouldn’t be marginalized."

Donohue said both gays and straights run into problems with the church’s teachings when it comes to their sexual practices.

“The Catholic Church has always taught that one's sexual orientation is morally irrelevant. Now, if you're straight and you're having an adulterous affair, that's a problem. If you're a homosexual and you're sexually active, that's a problem," he said.

"But the status of being a homosexual or the status of being heterosexual is basically a nonstarter. It means nothing."

Donohue said the Catholic Church will never endorse same-sex marriage, despite it gaining acceptance in a number of states.

"That will never happen . . . There’s only two people in the history of the world who could ever create a family and that's one man and one woman. The purpose of marriage is procreation, period," he said.

"You can't name for me a single religion in the history of the world, any major religion, certainly, which has ever said that it's okay for two men to get married. This idea is one of the most bizarre ideas in history."

© 2013 Newsmax

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

RAINBOW OVER CATHOLIC COLLEGES. . . ..for your info. . .

A Rainbow Over Catholic Colleges

How Georgetown Became a Gay-Friendly Campus

Michelle Xu/The Hoya
Georgetown students wind their way through a metaphorical closet door. Relations between the university and its gay students were not always this good.
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“COME out of the closet in style!” read the poster, and on a crisp fall day, dozens of students on Georgetown’s Red Square did, metaphorically at least. They formed a winding conga line and sashayed through a life-size closet door. That afternoon, they gathered for same-sex smooching in a campus “kiss-in.”


Christopher Gregory/The New York Times
"Society is changing," says Nate Tisa, Georgetown's first openly gay student body president. "And God is in that change."

Readers’ Comments

The day’s events were part of “OUTober,” a month jam-packed with celebrations related to all things L.G.B.T.Q., or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning. “Every month is a good month to be gay at Georgetown,” said Thomas Lloyd, president of the campus pride group. Indeed, there’s a Gender Liberation Week, Gay Pride Month, a popular drag ball called Genderfunk and a Lavender graduation ceremony attended by the university president.
Not so long ago, relations between the university and its gay students were strained. In 1980, the students had to sue for equal privileges for their organizations. In 2007, they stormed the steps of Healy Hall, protesting what they saw as an inadequate response to antigay incidents. And a 2008 survey found that 61 percent of students thought homophobia was an issue. That year, the administration began to address the problem, opening an L.G.B.T.Q. resource center with a full-time staff.
Further honing its current image as a gay-friendly campus, in March Nate Tisa became Georgetown’s first openly gay student body president. Mr. Tisa, who clocked numerous hours at church retreats and religious summer camps as a boy in Rochester, N.Y., has called on the university to lead the church toward a new interpretation of homosexuality. “Society is changing,” Mr. Tisa wrote in The Hoya, Georgetown’s student newspaper, “and God is in that change — do not reject it.”
As the national gay rights movement touches down in state legislatures, the Supreme Court and even the Boy Scouts, it is also being felt at many of the nation’s 267 Roman Catholic colleges and universities, where students and administrators are grappling with what it means to be young, gay and Catholic in 2013.
Perhaps nowhere has the movement been more visible than at the country’s oldest Catholic university.
“Georgetown has made a huge commitment to its L.G.B.T.Q. community,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, a national nonprofit group. “It has a history. It has a past. But today it is pushing the needle forward.”
The support for gay students has elicited nods of approval from many alumni, but it has agitated others. Some say that Georgetown is losing sight of its Catholic mission and has become a hotbed for viewpoints that conflict with church teachings. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” says to “respect” homosexuals — an attitude suggested by Pope Francis in his remarks this week regarding gay priests. But it denounces homosexual sex as “contrary to the natural law”; homosexuality is thus, some argue, not part of God’s plan.
Shortly after Mr. Tisa’s victory, William Peter Blatty, the octogenarian author of “The Exorcist,” and Manuel A. Miranda, a fellow alumnus, circulated a petition and 198-page memorandum condemning Georgetown for promoting a culture of “moral relativism” and an ideology of “radical autonomy.” More than 2,000 alumni have signed the petition, which was sent in May to Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington. The petition calls on the archbishop to better regulate the university or strip it of its Catholic identity, an unlikely but technically possible outcome.
“The petition’s primary aim is very much akin to pressuring someone that you love very much into going into rehab,” Mr. Blatty wrote me in an e-mail. He has deep roots at Georgetown. He attended on full scholarship, set his blockbuster horror story on campus and named his new watchdog group, the Father King Society to Make Georgetown Honest, Catholic and Better, after the late Thomas M. King, a beloved theology professor.
Other groups, too, have made it their business to monitor Catholic colleges. The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars was critical of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama, who supports abortion rights, to give a commencement address. The Cardinal Newman Society, founded in 1993 by a Fordham University alumnus, has attacked Boston College for turning a blind eye when students distribute condoms and DePaul University for allowing a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” The Cardinal Newman Society has also taken aim at Georgetown for Genderfunk. This year, a male student went as a high-heeled Mary and danced to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” while Jesus (a woman) looked on.
Several pages of the Georgetown memorandum are dedicated to Mr. Tisa, his “irrepressible and well-trained gay agenda” and his attempts at “cleverly redefining what Catholic means.”
Cardinal Wuerl declined to comment, but Rachel Pugh, a Georgetown spokeswoman, pointed to the university’s two required theology classes and up to seven Sunday Masses at the main chapel as evidence that it is deeply connected to its Catholic identity. The university also organizes church retreats and regular Eucharistic adoration ceremonies. Dozens of priests live on campus and serve as spiritual mentors.
“Our Catholic and Jesuit identity on campus has never been stronger,” Ms. Pugh said. “Academically, we remain committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition.”
Many students have an entirely secular experience at Georgetown. Sitting on a knoll overlooking the Potomac River, the university is a magnet for political junkies wanting access to the Capitol. But the obsession with politics is only part of the Georgetown story. Half of undergraduates identify as Catholic. The university’s religious underpinnings are embedded in its philosophy, and so, too, is what some students refer to as “the God conversation,” a dialogue about Jesuit values that regularly arises inside and outside of class.
The Jesuit educational model created by St. Ignatius of Loyola has a distinctly humanist bent. Todd A. Olson, Georgetown’s dean of students, says he is confident that providing gay students support, freedom of expression and a place to celebrate who they are does not conflict with the university’s Jesuit heritage. He cites cura personalis, the Jesuit tenet that loosely translates into care of the whole person, saying that Georgetown has an obligation to concern itself with the well-being of all its students.
“What is important and what is behind that is that each person has individual needs,” Dr. Olson said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
The university, he said, is careful not to take positions or advocate behavior that contradicts church teachings. The resource center, for example, does not distribute condoms or provide safe-sex counseling.
Its guides are Pope John Paul II’s 1990 document outlining administrators’ roles and responsibilities and a sister report, released in 1999 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, exploring how the Pope’s words ought to be applied. The latter document urges administrators to “enjoy institutional autonomy” and foster academic debate but to consistently uphold teachings about homosexuality, abortion, family planning and premarital sex. These seemingly contradictory missions have caused tension in recent years, particularly as Catholic institutions seek to educate and protect the health of their students, many of whom are sexually active.
LAST year, Ryan Fecteau became the first openly gay speaker of the General Assembly at the Catholic University of America, which is run by the church. Mr. Fecteau spent much of his term urging the administration to recognize the university’s gay-alliance group. Ultimately, administrators denied the request, counterarguing that a gay advocacy group really wasn’t part of the Catholic mission. He says he achieved a partial victory: a universitywide debate on the issue.
Mr. Fecteau is one of a growing band of student leaders who are Catholic, gay and seeking institutional changes through a mix of political maneuvering and theological debate.
In 2011, students at DePaul, the largest Catholic university in the country, elected Anthony Alfano as its first openly gay student body president. Mr. Alfano lobbied successfully for a resource center and also worked to raise awareness about high suicide rates among young gay Catholics. Gay leaders at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio last year persuaded administrators to alter the code of conduct to include language condemning violence stemming from sexual orientation.
During his sophomore year as vice speaker of the student senate and his junior year as speaker, Mr. Tisa helped produce a report on the challenges that incoming gay students face when they arrive. While students found a welcoming environment in the L.G.B.T.Q. Resource Center, with its beanbags, Diet Cokes and lots of students to share thoughts with, Georgetown was still a scary place to come out. Some complained of intolerant, sometimes verbally abusive roommates, and resident assistants unskilled at addressing altercations.
The report proposed several initiatives — a gender-neutral dorm and a Safe Spaces program that would designate rooms on every dorm floor where gay and minority students could retreat if needed. Last spring, Mr. Tisa began vigorously pushing for both.
There are other issues on his agenda. At the last student government meeting of the school year, Mr. Tisa and his cabinet members gathered in their usual conference room, decorated with a basketball net, ratty couch and long wood table on which sat a copy of “The Politics of the Presidency.” Mr. Tisa polished off a slice of cold pizza before launching into a discussion on several green initiatives and a report outlining ways to make the campus friendlier for students with disabilities. One cabinet member suggested that a neighborhood cleanup drive, intended to soothe perennially tense community relations, had gone so well they might do them more often. Mr. Tisa shook his head an emphatic “no,” adding dryly of the neighbors, “I don’t want them to get too dependent.”
Later, I asked Mr. Tisa about the petition sitting on the archbishop’s desk. Had he been offended by the remarks about him? “No,” he said dispassionately. “They just don’t get it.”
Many of Georgetown’s straight students say they are proud of the university’s work on behalf of gay students, largely because they see it as a civil rights issue. Maggie Cleary, a senior and former head of theGeorgetown University College Republicans, said she thought it was important for gay students to feel welcome on campus and for those who might not have a lot of experience with openly gay people to be exposed to them.
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 62 percent of 18- to 34-year-old Catholics favor legalizing same-sex marriage, compared with 48 percent of those 35 to 54, and 39 percent 55 and over.
But in a much-talked-about opinion piece in April in The Hoya, titled “Marriage an Institution Defined by Procreation,” Andrew Schilling, a government major from Iowa, argued in support of the church’s stance on homosexuality. “True compassion for our L.G.B.T. friends,” he wrote, did not mean turning “marriage into a legal tool for social inclusion.”
Mr. Schilling said he was chastised for his opinions. “I can feel like my voice is being silenced,” he said.
Asked about this, Mr. Tisa said he thought it was crucial that all students express themselves on these issues. Still, he said, for gay students, certain viewpoints can be difficult to hear. “For a lot of people these are not abstract debates,” he said. “They’re personal.”
At a Formica table in his split-level dorm suite, wearing khakis and a Georgetown sweatshirt, Mr. Tisa was eager to discuss his own coming out.
He attended a Jesuit high school, where, tall and broad-shouldered, he played football. Early on, he began to suspect he was gay. It was as tortuous internally as it was externally. Would he have to choose between God and a happy life?
His faith had brought him strength as a child dealing with his parents’ divorce. Once again, he found solace in prayer, and in conversations with other Catholics. The first person he shared his story with was a layperson he had grown close to during weekend youth retreats. “She said, ‘I love you. God loves you. And I’m here for you,’ ” he recalled. “Then we cried.” That encounter, he said, reminded him that Catholic teachings were “based on love, not condemnation.”
“I really wanted to be part of that,” he said.
During Thanksgiving break his freshman year, Mr. Tisa broke the news to his parents. This past year, he wrote an opinion piece telling the entire campus. “Baby, we were born this way,” he proclaimed, calling on Georgetown to become a voice for a new Catholicism, one that supports the entirety of a gay person’s life.
Diane Butler Bass, author of “Christianity After Religion,” says many gay students find it too painful to stay in the church. “Those who do,” she said, “remain because there is something about the church they find beautiful and soothing. And they end up determining for themselves the things that they believe are central to being Catholic.”
Kimberly Blair, a gay junior from Atlanta, remembers the discomfort she felt at a Bible study group freshman year. Club members were reading from the Book of Leviticus and discussing the morality of homosexuality:
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
“I was sitting in the front row and I honestly started crying.” she said.
Mr. Lloyd, the pride group president, says he is often tempted to join the more tolerant Episcopal Church. But for many young Catholics, particularly of Irish or Italian descent, Catholicism is interchangeable with identity. “You stay Catholic because you have a love of the institution and you want to change it,” he said.
It has taken Mr. Tisa years of reflection to work through how his sexual orientation and his Catholic faith can coexist. He refuses to accept that his relationship with another man is “intrinsically disordered,” as described in church catechism. And he is quite sure of this: “God is not a child in a sandbox, making sculptures and throwing them away.”
It is a message he is intent on spreading across campus with evangelical verve. As he often tells students: “We need to bring the Catholic identity into the 21st century.”
Can he do that from his perch at Georgetown?
“Yes,” Mr. Tisa said. “I have a lot of faith.”
Kyle Spencer writes on education from New York.

Do YOU remember this HOTTIE ?

Monday, July 29, 2013

"FRESH AIR" in the Vatican. . . last! ;-)


WoWzzer!  We had hoped but we had to wait and see.  Now that Francis has spoken. . .well, I'd love to be in the Vatican curial coffee room. . ..for example, the old "Bar-Jonah". . . .and listen in on the conversations.  WHOOOAAAAHHHHH!  ;-)

Friday, July 26, 2013


Posted: 26 Jul 2013 05:25 AM PDT
ASI2ebd9cbc3f3c1dc9cf2ca08c0f426ef60_full_resizeRelationships are a dance in which sometimes one person leads and sometimes the other does. The dance can be awkward – especially if you are first learning the steps or when you have a new dance partner.  Perhaps your partner crowds you and steps on your toes, or maybe he bobs and weaves and makes you dizzy.

 Often, however, we feel pulled in different directions at the same time. One pull is towards growing closer to the beloved.
Western religious marriage rites celebrate the idea of “the two becoming one flesh.”

  The other pull is towards safety and independence, and it can be just as powerful as this urge to merge. We fear being engulfed by the other, becoming lost in love. Both of these urges are normal and understandable. If you had no desire to mesh with your partner, you might as well be roommates. But healthy relationships allow each partner to maintain his identity, distinct from the shared identity as a couple.

There is a dynamic balance that allows both connection and detachment. We’ve all grown up with the myths about relationships that are pervasive in our culture and in the media. Models of healthy relationships are rare.

One model most of us have tucked away somewhere inside us – for better or for worse – is the model presented by our parents. Did your parents model a healthy blending of connection and closeness, while also permitting individuality and distinctness?

Balance means sometimes putting your partners’ needs before your own – but not always doing so. Your partner may need more support around some challenge in his own life, for instance, or around a particular problem or challenge.

Being supportive of each other and feeling that support back is part of the joy of being in a relationship.  But if you are always doing the supporting and rarely feel that backing in return, it’s time to change course. Another clue: if you find that after entering into the relationship you find that you no longer have time for your old friends or old hobbies and activities that had great meaning for you.

Or you are constantly rearranging your schedule to accommodate the needs, or potential needs, or your boyfriend. Do you know your own needs and desires, or do you find yourself just going along with your partner in everything from what to eat for dinner to what you want out of life?

Knowing yourself can be difficult, but it is not your partner’s job to give you the answers – even if you hope that he will. This taking responsibility for yourself is for you to do.

Make some time for yourself. Find pursuits that are yours alone, as well as ones to share with your boyfriend. Exercise, read a book, visit friends. Spending every moment with your partner isn’t necessarily a sign of your deep love and commitment, and it can become boring! Better to find a balance – there’s that word again – between things you do together and things you do by yourself.

Losing your identity and your sense of yourself is not a testimony to your great love for your partner. It’s a problem, and one that can undermine a relationship. Only when you have a sense of yourself can you truly connect with another in a healthy way.

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S.


Where The Boys Are. . . .

Posted: 25 Jul 2013 05:25 AM PDT
081607cSo you’re on the prowl for a boyfriend, hunting for Mr. Right to potentially build a lasting and fulfilling relationship?  You feel like you’ve got your head on straight, your life is in order, and you’re ready and available for love.  Perfect!

The most important pre-requisite that’s needed before embarking out into the dating jungle is a solid sense of self, an understanding of your needs and values, and a psychological readiness and maturity for navigating through a variety of interpersonal situations and relationship issues.

You’re equipped, motivated, excited… so where in the world do you find those quality guys to get acquainted with?

As gay men, it can be a bit more challenging in our quest for potential dating partners since we’re not always easily recognizable, that is unless you’ve got a finely-tuned sense of “gaydar.” We don’t have a rubber stamp with the word “GAY” printed on our foreheads to cause us to stand out from the crowd, so knowing who it’s safe to approach can be made more difficult than our heterosexual counterparts face. But, it is not impossible, for as the saying goes: “We are everywhere!”This article will offer possible settings that will increase your chances for meeting other gay men, as well as to provide some practical tips for approaching these venues.

Attraction Venues

According to David Steele,M.A. and Marvin Cohen,M.A. from The Relationship Coaching Institute (*)in their program for relationship success training for singles, attraction venues are places and activities to meet potential dating partners, and there are four levels:

Level 1: Public Places. These are places such as malls, festivals, banks, grocery stores, etc. It’s possible to meet someone compatible in these places, but not likely because there’s such a large diversity of people to pool through.

Level 2: Generic Singles Settings. These would include bars, singles clubs, personal ads; places where you would specifically expect to find singles congregating. The odds are increased for meeting someone in these venues, but can still be difficult to find “qualified” partners.

Level 3: Special Interest Settings. Sports clubs, fitness classes, targeted workshops on a particular topic, etc. An even better place to meet people because you’re living your life doing something that you enjoy with other like-minded people, already giving you something in common to build from. These are great places to make new friends too!

Level 4: Shared Mission Sites. This is the best venue to meet your life partner because it’s a place where the people have a shared sense of values, purpose, and passion, which are important ingredients for relationship success. Places like churches, service clubs, and personal growth venues would be examples of such settings where they act as a community with mutual support and involvement.

You can meet the man of your dreams in any of these venues, however the more aligned the venue is with who you are and what you’re looking for, the higher probability of success exists. Choose to involve yourself in settings that will attract the type of men you want to affiliate with. 

Top 5 Places to Meet Gay Men

Through interviews and polls taken with clients and men in the gay community, the following are the top popular picks for meeting potential guys for dating and mating.

1. Gay Bars & Dance Clubs: While these may be obvious places that gay men can flock to, be careful. You can meet a lot of nice guys in these venues, however the environment can be highly sexualized and prone to draw men who abuse drugs or alcohol and are only “cruising” for sex. If you’re seeking a boyfriend, be clear on that and screen the men you meet carefully.

2. Personal Ads & Internet Chatrooms: Whether it be newspaper or telephone ads, online personals, or dating services,
 these can be ideal places to search for men, particularly for those who have extra-busy lifestyles or who don’t live in large gay urban areas. These ads are a great way to creatively spell out exactly what you’re looking for. Always meet in a public place if it gets that far and don’t rely solely on this method at the expense of live human contact and social interaction.

3. Volunteering: Get to know the resources and organizations available in your nearest gay community and volunteer your time to some that resonate with and are meaningful to you. Examples might include The Human Rights Campaign, gay youth groups, gay community centers and health clinics, task forces, etc.

4. Friends: Build your gay social support system and expand your gay friendship circle. The more people you know, the more people your friends might be able to introduce you to. Lots of fulfilling relationships have started from “set-ups” by friends. It doesn’t always work out, but friends can be a valuable resource because they know you and your interests.

5. Gay-Themed Events: Pride parades and festivals, drag queen shows, gay theatrical productions, charity events, classes and workshops with gay topics, parties, gay support groups, church activities, gay trade shows, gay speed dating events, etc.

Also, don’t forget other places such as coffee shops, beaches, work, business networking events, restaurants, art galleries, museums, and health clubs as other possible gay guy meeting places. 
Dating Tips for the Hunt

·Meeting Mr. Right takes careful planning and preparation; it’s typically not always a spontaneous, out-of-the-blue experience. Know yourself and what you believe in and stand for, as well as what you’re looking for. Ensure that you’re emotionally available and ready for a possible relationship.

·Be friendly, open, receptive, and assertive when socializing. Your life partner could be anywhere, so don’t limit yourself exclusively to certain meeting places. Expand your horizons and be open to new possibilities.

·Avoid expecting every encounter to lead somewhere. Not every hot guy you meet is Mr. Right. Use your screening skills and assess true goodness-of-fit.

·Don’t let dating consume your life. Live your life in a balanced and fulfilling way. Be happily single.

·Defeat negative thinking that could undermine your confidence in social situations. Be affirming toward yourself and let each experience be a new learning opportunity to help you improve yourself and your approaches.

Conclusion - So there you have it! Mr. Right is anywhere and everywhere; you just need the readiness and emotional reserves to take the risks inherent in meeting new people. While dating venues can be important in helping you increase the odds of finding a good match, the most important ingredients are what you bring to the table.

As long as you bring a positive attitude, strong self-esteem, good social skills, and an upbeat and assertive demeanor to the playing field, your chances of narrowing the market down and having a triumphant hunt for your future husband are great. Don’t delay… boyfriend hunting season opens now!

*Reference: Steele, David & Cohen, Marvin (2003). Conscious Dating: Relationship Success Training For Singles. Relationship Coaching Institute. and
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Love and Happiness for Grumpy Old Farts

G'day JustinO,

As requested:

Actually, this essay is not just for GOFs, but everybody who feels lonely and unloved.

The problem, as I see it, begins with the emphasis mainstream society places on pairs - boyfriends, girlfriends, best buds, wives, husbands. We grow up to believe we need company and, in particular, another person in our lives in order to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

That's all very well, and there's certainly nothing wrong with anyone wanting to share their life with someone they love. But if we are pressured by society and our peers to believe that being one half of a pair is the only way to achieve fulfillment, then it automatically follows that the reverse is also true; that to be alone is a sure fire recipe for depression and a feeling of inadequacy. Once you have convinced yourself of the latter, you're doomed.

To exacerbate the problem, the more often a person looking for companionship is rejected, the more convinced that person becomes of the hopelessness of being alone. Being alone is then associated with being lonely. Eventually, loneliness leads to self deprecation or, worse, loathing.

How many young people are invited to the school prom because the person doing the asking simply doesn't want to attend the prom alone? There's a stigma attached to being alone. If you're alone, you're considered to be lonely, even though being alone and being lonely are - or should be - two different things.

Lonely adults sometimes hire a professional escort rather than attend a function alone. The pressure to be in the company of another person is all pervasive. Unless, of course, you happen to be someone like me.

It took a long, long time to realize I don't need to be one half of a pair before I can go to the movies, or a restaurant, or a party or anywhere else for that matter. For most of my life I believed that my happiness was dependent upon having a special relationship with another person. And that without that special person, I could never be truly happy. That's a recipe for disaster.

Learning self-respect, self-reliance, self-confidence and being content with your own company doesn't mean closing the door to other people. On the contrary, confidence attracts other people. So being content to be alone is not about shutting yourself off from the world. Being content to be alone simply means freedom from the pressure to conform to mainstream society's fixation with pairs.

Being one half of a pair is fine. So too is just being yourself.

I honestly believe our best friend should be ourselves. And the best way to get to know our new best friend is to stop judging him too harshly; to be kind and understanding; to be forgiving and tolerant; to enjoy his company; to take a sincere interest in the things he does. Look in the mirror and say hi to your new best friend and tell him how proud you are to have him as a friend. And make sure he knows that the one person in this world who will never let him down; who he can trust absolutely, 24/7; is you.

Gary Kelly
Understudy to Dr JK O'Shea PhD


THANK YOU,  Dr. Kelly, for this fine expression of your yourself.  For the nonce I will wait to make any more comments, allowing others to have their say and/or commentary.