Initiative and Incentive

We weren’t supposed to be getting any rain this morning, but it still had to be overcast with sprinklings. This thunder storm that’s been raging, is dumping a large amount of rain in such a short time, to where I’m afraid we’ll be getting some flash-flooding. For sure the streets and intersections Downtown are filling up fast.

I’m certainly glad I did get that much-needed mowing done yesterday, but without a doubt, I was feeling the aches and pains this morning because I was pushing myself far too much to get it all finished before heading home.

Speaking of mowing, I’m noticing far too many scruffy looking yards around town, which I find being nothing less than glaring blemishes on or cityscape. I’m not saying people have to be maniacs about their yards, but rather being diligent in keeping their grass mowed and volunteer trees and tall weeds from sprouting up around their homes. You can bet most of them are rentals, and if the landlords don’t keep on top of such things, they turn into jungles. With all of this rain we’ve been getting, most yards are now needing to be sheared once a week.

I went over to my little garden plot today to check on my specialty tomatoes, and to my delight, there are now sixteen healthy plants reaching to the sun. Having that many plants growing out of an old packet containing only twenty seeds, I’d say they germinated far better than I would’ve expected. After seeing how tall those plants get, I’ll be having to do some staking on them as they continue to grow.

While in soulful conversation with a dear old friend today, I couldn’t help bringing up the subject of how so many people have grown all the more selfish to the point where they won’t do anything more than they have to, unless there’s some sort of present or future monetary incentives attached. I brought up several examples of how oft times the elderly are only helped by their younger relatives, as long as they know they’ll be getting a healthy payback after death. Whenever I hear about such stuff, I internally hope that what inheritance they think they’ll be getting, all ends up being spent on nursing home bills. Don’t you always wonder about people who suddenly appear to “help” those who have the dough, but never some poor soul pushing a shopping cart down an alley looking for redemptive bottles and cans? Kinda funny isn’t it?

On the contrary, I’m seeing far fewer taking the initiative to freely do things for others with no hidden motive other than wanting to lighten the load of someone in need. Initiative is taking more of a back seat to incentive in these times, because I’m finding whenever I freely and willingly make a personal call to do something for another, there’s oft times this, “Why are you doing this for me?”, which stems from most of us now having the thought that there has to be a hidden payback we’re not aware of. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the way our society has evolved.

What I find troubling, are parents not encouraging their children to understand the core difference between initiative and incentive, and unfortunately when speaking about it, my dear friend went on to give a few examples of what had taken place in his family after his mother passed away. It didn’t take long for his siblings to start distancing themselves from day-to-day involvement with his father, to the point they’d be giving the most obscure excuses as to why they were unable to offer any help for his aging father, and if they did do something in a minor sense, they’d bring up those few instances as a reminder that they’d been there to help. It finally got to the point where my friend quietly did the bulk of work needing to be done, and just left it at that, because on the positive flip-side, he’d grown all the closer to his father, even up to and at his deathbed.

I couldn’t help by interjecting, “Do your siblings still have their little black books tucked away as their own weak reminders of what they did?” He laughed while answering, “Oh I’m sure, and likely a dollar amount written beside each little thing they did, along with the dates and times they were performed.” I felt a little bad for bringing up the subject because I think some dark doors had been opened which he’d closed and walked away from long ago.

Just so he didn’t feel as though he was the only one having to gone thru such nonsense, I shared some incidents of my own which were “jaw-drops” at the time, but now have such craziness, placed in perspective with the whole scheme of it all. I also mentioned how much I’ve become a very big believer in karma, and whenever someone does something undeserving to me, I just hand it over to karma, and leave her to deal with it in good time, and mind you, she will.

My afternoon appointment was to show two homes, and one of them, being a second look, which also included a contractor who was making notes and taking measurements. It’s a well-built home in a good neighborhood, but in need of some well-deserved updates. Since I was there for a good amount of time, I started focusing on what it would look like finished, and what I saw in my mind’s eye, was superb. We’ll see what type of bid that contractor will be giving her.

When I arrived home, I discovered in the mail, a package of pepper seeds a dear one sent me which are considered to be the best for salads, soups, and stir-fries. Even though it’s rather late to be planting pepper seeds, I’m going to plant five or six of them, just to see if they’ll be matured to bear a small but healthy crop before the frost hits. What a thoughtful gift from one so far away.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Sex: The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

Joe Chodur

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