From The Mouths

How much better can we have our weather for the travelers who’re likely arriving in our area to spend the Holidays with their families and friends? In spite of there being some die-hard “winter lovers” cursing these warm temps, there’s no question the bulk of North Iowans are enjoying each and every, warmer than normal day, that arrives.

My morning was spent making some calls to colleagues and friends just to wish them a delightful Christmas. I think it better to phone, or even make a physical visit to those we care about because the extra effort given, is much more appreciated. On the flip-side, I do dislike getting Christmas cards from competitors who’ve not always been the easiest to work with, and when speaking to another today, I mentioned how it must give them some sort of personal absolution for their past behaviors. It may sound wicked of me, but whenever receiving cards from people who’ve time and again, shown they really don’t want the best for me, I bother not even opening them before they’re dropped into my paper shredder.

A noon appointment which was scheduled late last week, decided to send me an email canceling it not 15 minutes before I was to meet him at the home. Ugh! Now what if I wasn’t at my computer at that time, and there I would’ve been waiting. From what I gathered when setting the appointment, he’s a new arrival to our area with his work. I hope he’ll be more conscientious in his new job than he was when setting an appointment and then canceling it 15 minutes beforehand. There’s no question in these times, we’ll continue seeing those “all about me” people coming and going, but please don’t think it specific to North Iowa, because it’s countrywide.

A young gentleman stopped by this morning whom I’ve known for about three years, and without a doubt, he’s one of the most kind and courteous within his age group. Since we’ve shared many thoughts about life in general, I mentioned how refreshing it is when visiting with someone who has a more broad understanding of what it takes to live a more fulfilling life while being bombarded by words coming from the mouths of radical minds. He smiled and said, “Yea, people really don’t bother taking the time to understand the real basics of just being human.” I couldn’t agree more when thinking about how animals don’t even treat their own in ways we humans do. Talk about a giant leap backwards into the Dark Ages!

After he left, I suddenly remembered a situation that took place this past summer where I happened to stop at a curbside to visit with a young man whom I sold a home to about five years ago. The moment he looked at me, I could tell he’d changed, and when he spoke, it was even more noticeable. I went on to ask how life had been treating him, along with how his family was doing, and wouldn’t you know it, he cut our conversation short by saying, “I’ve gotta go or I’ll be late for church.” You can bet I quickly bid him farewell and drove off.

It bothered me when finding him exceptionally indifferent, but what really got to me, was when I happened to find him about a month later, seated with his friend at a coffee shop. I walked over just to say “Hi”, and believe it or not, he acted as though I were a stranger. After that last happening, you can bet I’ll not make another attempt to interact with him.

After finding his character had truly changed, I began searching my mind as to what I could’ve possibly done to him, and absolutely nothing came to mind, so I dismissed it all as being something going on in his life. Well, not but a month ago, I was told that he’d become deeply involved in a church he joined, which caused me to remember what today’s gentleman said about just being human. Isn’t it written somewhere that we’re to love our neighbors as we love ourselves? I find it fascinating as well as disturbing when seeing how all the more tribal our society has grown.

A dear friend stopped by this afternoon with several Christmas gifts in hand, and of course as I’ve told everyone, “You shouldn’t have.”, but they were gratefully received, and since we’d not had time in the past for a good long visit, there were much needed subjects on which to share our insights. One thought I shared with her, which I’m confident was taken to heart, was, “Just remember, the one that’s loved the most, gets punished the most.” After she left, I realized how truly similar our life-paths have been over these past four years, but what gave me the most comfort, was realizing once again that the things others do to us, are not specific to our small circles, because it happens far more than any of our society’s quiet sufferers are willing to admit.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The envious grow all the leaner at the success of their neighbors.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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