Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lessons From The Mall

Friday, March 31, 2006
My brother just said something to me today about how when we become Christians it doesn't mean that we instantly lose the problems we had. For instance, a person with a seratonin deficiency causing depression, is not suddenly going to have sufficient seratonin to keep the emotions in check. A person who was deeply wounded as a child will not forget those wounds.
We are still the people that we were, just forgiven, renewed, given strength and hope. Those are great things, but there is a part of me that longs to be other than I am.

A recent article about a local realtor who was top in the field used these words to describe her: "She worked 100 hours a week for 38 years." I instantly felt like a slug. Due to some physical limitations and due to my own personality--my own personal speed, if you will--I will never do 100 hours a week. It will not happen. But even though I wish I had that kind of stamina and drive, it is not me. I can't imagine raising my kids and working 100 hours a week.

I'm glad there are people out there like that. They get a lot accomplished and they win a lot of awards. I wonder, though, if they have time to listen to a friend who is going through a hard time as she vents. I wonder if they have time to serve at their church. I wonder if they take a moment to listen to the bird song in the morning, or to watch an ant struggle to carry a load across a sidewalk. Do they sit and listen to a concerto? Are they at their kids band concerts, science fairs, whatever? Can they take an afternoon to run a forgotten pair of boots to their son attending college 1 1/2 hours away?

I wonder. And as I wonder, I remember that I was created uniquely. I was formed with the ability to rest, to spend time with people, to take pleasure and joy in the simplest things. I am able to take great pleasure watching people. I will rearrange my afternoon to run to help my sister or my nephew if I can. I like to have time to think, to dream, to plan, to read, to write, to sing, to be.

I love what I do, and I truly believe that I can be a great success at it being who I am. But my definition of success is not being one of the top 100 agents in the country. My definition of success is helping a family get into their dream home and smoothing the way for them. It is helping a new investor find their first property and helping them on their way to financial freedom. It is helping a seller to sell the house that is a noose around their necks financially speaking. It is doing things with excellence and knowledge and attention to detail. It is helping people reach their goals.

There is a lesson in nature that applies here. I often work a shift at one of the mall marketing centers here Colorado Springs. We have three mall centers. One of them is right outside a pet store with windows full of puppies. I've never seen a puppy I didn't like. They are white, black, brown, tan, spotted, silky-haired, curly-haired, long-haired, short-haired, lively, quiet, small breeds, large breeds, yappy, energetic, calm, playful and shy. I love all of them. We don't expect dogs to all be alike, nor do we expect a giraffe to have the characteristics of a cheetah. The differences don't make them bad--they just make it all the more interesting and fun.

We're like that. We're tall, short, fat, skinny, long-haired, short-haired, curly-haired, straight-haired, energetic, calm, funny, serious, etc., etc. There are as many descriptions as there are people. It is what we DO that should define us. Are we kind? Thoughtful? Good? Noble? Courageous? Self-Sacrificing? Honest? Trustworthy? Those are the qualities to which we should aspire. As I used to tell my kids, I'd sooner you were kind than smart, because kind is a choice and smart is a gift which you've done nothing to deserve.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I absolutely cringe at the thought of anyone working 100 hours a week. And I'm so glad you're not like that. But I know your commitment to your customers could not be greater no matter how many hours you worked. Because of who you are, you're absolutely successful in my book!