The Peaceable Kingdom

The-Peaceable-KingdomI was showing a home today and while I was ready to get in my car, I was called after by a woman who was walking down the sidewalk. I stopped and waited for her to approach. I likely would have driven away had I known what she was about to say to me. I was a bit taken back by her greeting which was, “Well hello Mr. Joe “crapehanger” Chodur.” I thought to myself how snide people can be after not encountering them for some time. I’m sure that “crapehanger” was thrown out there simply because I didn’t agree with something she said at a social gathering, and I definitely remember not backing down from what I considered my true feelings about a social issue we were talking about at the time.

Today’s comment was unfortunately another confirmation of the polarizing of our society’s beliefs. It seems every time someone disagrees with someone else’s opinion on nearly any subject, they are pigeon-holed as naysayers and boat rockers. I was indeed proud of myself for not going to her level and remained as much a gentleman as possible while we had a very short conversation. While driving away, I dusted myself off from the sprinkling of negativity that I was given by her.

This day for me seemed that for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction. Something dark and then something light, something happy and then something sad, and something disappointing and something encouraging were the swings of the pendulum. My favorite swing was a very dear and old friend walking into the office with a cupcake for me. She said, “I was given this cupcake at a bank and thought of you when I took it.” She is one of those rare people who really want the best for everyone and glows goodness. We shared a few recent comical stories that happened to us and as I walked her to the door I said, “You couldn’t have arrived too soon because I really needed an honest to goodness laugh today.” I first encountered her and her husband at least 25+ years ago. They purchased and sold a number of homes they either kept as rentals or fixed up for re-sale. In those days, they lived on a small acreage not far from here and each time I went there on business, I always felt at home.

During even the turbulent years of real estate, she was always one to look to the bright side and speak about how much better off she and her husband were than when they were growing up and truly appreciated all the good that had come from their hard work. Never proud, never boastful, and never, never envious. It is no surprise that their children are as well rounded and generous with their time and talents; they were taught well by their parents. I would likely see pigs fly before I would ever hear snide remarks from her or her children. I would dare say they would be considered citizens of the peaceable kingdom. It sort of makes us all want to swim across and be there in mind, body and spirit.