Who Or What Is Gladstone And Why This Is Important

By Paul Larson

MILLBRAE – I recently read an article in the trade journal “American Funeral Director” about the famous quote by the late “Sir William Ewart Gladstone”, the celebrated English four term Prime Minister who was known for his colorful oratories and speeches on the floor of Parliament. This 19th century statesman was renowned for many unique sayings, but he is most noted among Funeral Directors for saying this: “Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.” This quote is very lyrical and well thought out. It has become a long time custom for many Funeral Homes to display this quote on a plaque for all to see. The meaning is obvious and is a direct comparison between caring for our fallen loved ones and the way we care for ourselves, our community and our society.

To many observers it may appear that we’ve lost the motivation to care for our loved ones in a proper way, and that our society has become misguided. Taking into consideration the way our government leaders sometimes act, without the maturity to function unselfishly, is disturbing, and the reasons they got elected can be alarming. Also, in the eyes of logical people violence should be against our nature, but seemingly is embedded in our way of life. It is topsy-turvy for a culture to view cruelty and tribal brutality as a form of normality, and for love to be viewed as an obscenity.

Yes, some say our society is falling apart, but looking at the overall big picture I see most people yearning to live a peaceful and courteous life with those around them. Most people are not violent. Most people want to be accepted. Most people want to be happy.

Remember that “hate” is taught. Wouldn’t it make more sense for “love” to be taught? Teaching youngsters to be curious and to enjoy the “differences” of those around them would be a good start. They say that it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. But old dogs will not be here forever, and with effort every young dog could be cultivated with ideals for supporting others with respect. Putting this into practice may seem daunting, but it’s not impossible and over time could be valuable for our future.

Humanity has always been burdened with a good percentage of bad guys. But, all in all, the ideals that the majority of us value and strive to promote, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are shared in our core.

Going back to Gladstone’s quote, I see the vast majority of the families we serve at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS deeply committed to doing the right thing for their loved ones. They come to us with a desire for closure and to enact final tributes for those they’ve cherished. Whether public or private their feelings are similar, and showing one last bit of proper care is their goal. For me this is a sign of hope, showing that overall we are a society of good people with a nature to live in harmony and peace.

If you ever wish to discuss cremation, funeral matters or want to make pre-planning arrangements please feel free to call me and my staff at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS in Millbrae at (650) 588-5116 and we will be happy to guide you in a fair and helpful manner. For more info you may also visit us on the internet at: www.chapelofthehighlands.com.