Toxic Individualism

After last night, let’s hope we’ll not awaken and find any more double digit-below zero temperatures the remainder of this winter. In spite of our hardships, we should all be eternally thankful we’re not living in Texas where there’ve been thousands of people without power for over 24 hours. It’s just one more example of how our society has become overly-dependent on technologies that are out of our control when disaster strikes.

When I arrived at office this morning, I went to my email and found far too many spam emails again. In spite of having filters in place, those nasties still manage to make it over the “wall”. I’m afraid there are more people at it than there’s ever been, but when you think about it, they’re most likely poor struggling souls living in third world countries who get some sort of meager stipend for attempting to dupe our general public.

I was shocked when reading yesterday where a multi-millionaire managed to get himself fleeced of close to two million dollars by allowing some slick-talking conspiracy theorists to pull him into helping them discover those stolen votes. Well, he finally realized the error of his ways, but too late, as he’s now trying to get it back from that so-called “legitimate” non-profit. Every time I hear about something like that, I’m always reminded of that saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” One can’t help wondering how that successful businessman managed to get suckered into giving that much money. All I can think of, is someone having bottle-fed him their “Kool-Aid”.

Once again, I made my rounds of checking on vacant homes, just to make sure their furnaces were running properly. While out, it didn’t feel as cold as yesterday, and likely because the wind had gone down to a mere whisper. It looks like we may be getting some snow at the end of this week, but at least we won’t be seeing our temps so low.

When I got back to my office, I mixed up some soap and water, and then busied myself with getting the “cat” tracks from yesterday’s visitors wiped up. That snow mixed with salt sure dries to a very noticeable grayish-white. Irregardless of the extra work involved, I’m still happy with my floors because I can more easily see dirt build-ups. The rate in which those floors dried, was a clear indication how little moisture we have indoors, which of course is due to the continued blowing of hot air from our furnaces. All the dry cracks I now have on my hands, is just another by-product of this dry freeze.

One of my many calls today, was to one of the lookers of yesterday, just to find out how strong their interest was in the home they seemed to like. After a good night’s sleep, it sounded like they’re continuing to move in the direction of making an offer on it which will make me a very happy camper. They agreed it wasn’t in need of much more than a freshening up with modern updates because all the big ticket items are already done.

I had a nice chat today with one of my clients who works at the hospital, and happy to hear their China-virus cases are now starting to drop to where they can now focus on their back-up of elective surgeries. He said the happiest day to come, will be when he doesn’t have to wear his virus-related protective gear. I didn’t say anything, but my fears are continuing to mount regarding the growing mutations of that virus which will be having our virologists and researchers burning their midnight oil for months, and possibly even years to come. I don’t even want to think about how many more permanent changes we’ll be seeing in our future due to these extended pandemic months.

While visiting with a colleague today, we landed on the subject of new construction and the lack thereof, which is placing more pressure on our inventory of available homes for sale. It’s stands to reason why more people are opting for staying put after deciding to make upgrades on their existing homes instead of having a home built because the price per-square footage is far out of reach for most of North Iowa’s household incomes.

Having recently had the opportunity to visit with several people who decided to build new, I wasn’t a bit surprised to hear how dis-appointed they were with the whole process, along with saying they’d never do it again. What seemed to be a common thread with them, was the fact that the sub-contractors weren’t showing up when they were supposed to, and when they did, they didn’t get their jobs finished in timely manners. The number of conscientious quality builders we have available are growing fewer, and mostly due to retirement. If someone would ask me for a list of reputable home builders, I’d be hard-pressed in coming up with possibly even three, and they’re likely booked ahead for the next twelve months. As I’ve said, the lack of new-builds, is another element as to why we have such low inventories.

Several important calls I placed earlier in the day to young professionals, didn’t get returned, which was but one more confirmation of how our business world has evolved. From the time I started working in banking, and then moving into the arena of real estate sales, I was always diligent in getting calls returned, and especially when knowing the callers were needing time-sensitive information. Oh, and don’t even think you’ll get an answer from them when calling, because you’ll always be so “conveniently” flipped over to their voicemails. Wouldn’t you rather take care of something now instead of having the mindset of “I’ll do it when I feel darned good and ready.”?

If there’d ever be two words to describe how the growing numbers of “all about me” mentalities interact with others in society, I would darkly consider it on the side of “toxic individualism”, because by not treating others how you expect to be treated, it always ends up being remarkably unfortunate.

Tonight’s One-liner is: We must never do immoral things for moral reasons.

Joe Chodur

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