Becoming Less WEIRD

It was a pleasant early morning as I was heading to work, but as soon as the sun started to climb higher, it turned into a very unpleasant day whenever I had to be outdoors. I did manage to the grass behind my office clipped with my precious reel mower before it turned hot. I always have to laugh whenever seeing those back-alley drivers doing a rubber-neck when looking at that mower. Everyone’s talking about going green, but nobody bothers to investigate purchasing a reel-type push mower, and especially those who have small to normal sized yards. I personally like the way in which they cut the grass. Back when I was very young and mowing yards to make a few dollars, those old owners usually always had one in their garage for me to use. The only caution about them, is that if the grass is too long, then you’ll pay hell to get it clipped, because they’re not built to cut tall grass.

Most of my morning was spent sending emails back and forth to a closing company which is handling two closings for me this week, and since they’re out of town, I was forced to communicate via email. Unfortunately I had to send them alerts regarding several mistakes they’d made, and of course I blamed myself first for not making my instructions more clear.

One of the seniors in our community paid an un-scheduled visit to my office today to tell me he’s fed up with living here in Mason City, and has now decided it’s time to move forward with another chapter with his life. I’ve known him for a very many years, and in spite of my not having sold him his home, it just so happened to be listed with an office I worked for many years ago, so from then on, we’ve stayed in touch.

I told him truthfully that I’ll be sad to see him leave the area, but I fully understood his frustrations regarding upkeep, the endless bills that continue to get larger, and of course nearly all the friends he’s made while living here, have either passed or moved away. One of his family members is coming to help him next week, so I’ll be getting a call to stop over and give him my pre-listing presentation. There’s no doubt it’ll sell because the last time I was in it those many years ago, I could actually see myself living there. Yes, it’s a beauty.

Just to stay ahead of those scheduled closings, I had the sellers of both properties stop by and sign their transfer documents, just so I could get them scanned and emailed back to the closing company for their approval. Both of them must’ve had extra time on their hands because their visits were long, but enjoyable.

The first one had me laughing nearly non-stop when talking about her mother who would never buy anything that couldn’t be raised or made at home. For the first time in my life, I had direct contact with a person who had to wear underwear which was made on her mother’s sewing machine. If I didn’t know for sure she was telling the truth, I never would’ve believed it. What had me laughing all the more, was when she spoke about her first encounter with a saleslady who sold white underwear, and the reason being, she needed a pair because her first job was as a nurse’s aid and had to wear white. She actually didn’t even know what her size would be, so the saleslady had to make an educated guess. Oh, and not to mention, her mother would make underwear from every color of fabric but white. I told her she should become a part-time stand-up comedian. Yes, she was that good at getting the laughs out of me.

My second seller had me busy with telling the story about my building, as well as asking about those two vacant apartments upstairs. I could tell he was very much captivated by my building because of the number of questions asked. I did assure him that some day there will be tenants living in those apartments as soon as I can get the more pressing projects of mine under control. Today was the third time in one week someone’s asked about those upstairs apartments. I could actually live up there because of how tall the windows are which bring in copious amounts of natural light.

One of my callers today mentioned that several insurance companies have decided to pull out of Iowa due to the increasing number of violent storms we’ve been having year over year. When checking on another insurer, the premiums were markedly higher. I sure hope that’s not going to be the next added expense we’re going to be faced with.

There’s one article I read today which is a “must read” for our entire population which was published by the Washington Examiner, which hit the nail on the head regarding my continued belief that our Country is sliding backwards in regards to having any sort of common sense when it comes to living in a society where there are people with opposing views.

After reading each paragraph, I found myself whispering, “You got that right.” The author’s predictions were troublingly true, but we all still have time to change this tribal madness that’s affecting everyone. One of the excerpts of it goes, “America, in short, is becoming less WEIRD–the acronym coined by the brilliant Harvard University academic Joseph Henrich to describe the Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic societies that managed to transcend the hunter-gatherer ethic and invent the concept of the individual, free from tribe and caste.” Believe me there’s more, so click on this link to that page.   A retreat from the Enlightenment and back into tribalism

When posting tonight’s one-liner, the first person who came to mind was that evil Putin.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Sometimes the point isn’t to make people believe a lie, but rather to make people fear the liar.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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