I was raised in a family where communication was through teasing and laughter. I was always embarrassed to admit this, but then realized that, hey, at least we all communicated. Family affairs were big, loud and filled with food…..more than enough for our family, spouses, kids and friends ..and usually a few neighbors and uninvited (but always welcome) guests mosied in to the Stone household.
My mother was the quintessential housewife. She was a great cook, and loved to entertain. She loathed paper plates and plastic forks and told us that she would never serve people she cared about with paper and plastic. OK mom, thanks for the lesson! She always had our holiday table set with matching dinnerware and/or fine China that was stowed away in the basement in between guests.
Now my dad was blue-collar and worked as a Tool and dye Maker for General Electric for his entire working career. Money was tight but we always had the basics and usually a little more. Parties were frequent and often celebrations of our birthdays and graduations.
What’s the point of this?
At a showing today in City Heights, a neighborhood known in San Diego as “gentrifying” or to most as “The Ghetto” I waited outside for my client and the tenant waited with me. (Most of my colleagues shake their head in wonder why I work in this area. It has taught me a lot!)
The tenant explained they had to move in with relatives, since they no longer could afford the rent. He was polite and pleasant, offered me a glass of water, and pulled up chairs so I could sit down in the yard. English was not his primary language, but he got his point across. There was no anger or attitude, even though he was losing his home and had to move. He had done all the gardening because he enjoyed it and never asked for anything. The yard looked beautiful.
Having financial resources does not make you a better person, a smarter person or even a more thoughtful person. It would do us all lot of good to step back and give respect to the hardworking people who live day to day, struggling to make ends meet. It is not all about selling staged homes and working with upscale folks that turn their noses at 70’s décor and only 2 baths as opposed to 3. Learning a lesson in humility goes a long way in making us better people.
Don’t let these lessons go unnoticed—-you may be missing a huge part of the value of working in this industry.