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Without tenses

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October 8, 2008

Late Breaking News!

This just in:  hail with hurricane force winds plowed through the little valley of sleeping occupants, killing and smashing…. 

Yes, I am sensitive to all the pain and suffering that can and does go with this life, but to be reminded of it constantly or to be always looking for it reminds me of a story that I once heard. 

A young, middle-aged and somewhat ambitiously arrogant executive was out looking for a new house to buy.  He had been given a new management position with his company, and wanting to live a bit closer to his work as well as desiring a bigger and more expensive house, now that he was making more money, had decided to go out this day in search of the “perfect house.”  And to him, the perfect house meant that it was in a “perfect neighborhood,” with “perfect neighbors.” 

Upon turning into one street the young executive carefully looked around, carefully taking notice to see how well the yards were being taken care of.  To him, how the neighbors generally maintained their yards said a lot about the occupants of that neighborhood.  He couldn’t help but see the little crumpled up yellow McDonald’s rapper-paper on the side of the road.  He noticed too a rose garden in one yard that seemed to him that it could use some attention.  

Anyway, the houses looked very rich, and rich houses usually meant rich people and rich people usually meant rich contacts. 

Driving further up the street, he noticed an older looking man out watering his lawn, and deciding to drive by and ask the man his opinion of the neighborhood, the executive pulled up along the curb, and without really stopping, he yelled up to the man, “Hey,” you there!”  There may have been a little “executive” snobbishness to his voice, but that had become a part of him as sort of a work experience, having to work and deal with… well morons. 

Anyway, the old man, with a warm smile, the executive seeing it as a bit suspicious, responded with a casual, “Yes?”   

v     1st Executive:  Hey, tell me what the neighbors are like here.  I am looking for a new house to buy, and I want to be careful about where I live – you know, there are a lot of “bad” neighborhoods in this town, and I don’t want to live in a “dangerous” neighborhood with a whole lot of punk kids roaming the streets. 

v     The old man:  with the understanding that only comes with having lived a long and good life, nodded as he said, “Yep!  There is that, that’s for sure.  Tell me, how are the neighbors in your neighborhood now?” 

v     1st Executive: with a critical tone to his voice scoffed, “Ah!  Those idiots – they are nothing but a bunch of losers.  I will be happy when I can finally get rid of them and move out!” 

v     The old man:  with much patience replied, “Yes sir, you are going to find those same neighbors here too. 

v     1st Executive:  as he sharply pressed his foot to the accelerator peddle, spinning his tires against the asphalt called out, “Thanks, but no thanks!  I will keep looking for a better neighborhood - this one sucks! It is worse than the one I am living in now.” 

Similarly, another young business man, with a simiular reason for being out looking for a new house as the first, came driving up the same street as had the previous perspective home buyer. 

This executive, as did the previous one, looked about the street and yards, however tot his one he couldn’t help but notice how well groomed and clean everything looked.  The houses were clean and straight.  The trees were full and green.  To him this neighborhood seemed to be some kind of paradise – it was simply lovely. 

As he continued his peaceful drive up the street, he pulled up along side the same “elderly gentleman” as had the first.  Waiting until he had come to a full stop, and had shut off the engine to his car, he greeted the man with, “Hello, kind sir.  May I trouble you with a question?” 

v     Elderly man:  “Yes, but of course.  How may I help you?” 

v     2nd Executive:  “Well sir, I have been given a new job with my company and I would like to move a bit closer to my company.”  Anyway, I was wondering if you could tell me something about the neighbors here.” 

v     Elderly man:  “Well, tell me, how are the neighbors in your current neighborhood?” 

v     2nd Executive:  “To tell you the truth sir, I kind of hate to leave it.  All of them are my friends.  They are the kindest and dearest people that one could ever want to know and live by. 

v     Elderly man:  “Well, you are going to find those same people here.” 

v     2nd Executive:  “Sounds like the “perfect neighborhood.”  

The point of all this was to suggest that life can be and is at times very hard, very difficult and very bad, but it is also very good.  No, life isn’t perfectly good, but it isn’t “perfectly” bad either.  I mean, I know that at times, I will see those little crumpled up pieces of trash alongside the road – I won’t be able to not see them – at times.  However, I don’t need to be out looking for them.  I know that they are there – I don’t need to look for them.

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09:03 AM Jun 07 2010



that means ' you see the world and people not as they are, but as your are! ' ::))