The rent too damn high! I remember hearing that several years ago from a candidate running for some public office in New York. At first I thought his sentiment was noble. But like most (if not all) politicians he was caught fibbing. You see, he was living in a rent controlled building. Oh, his rent, well it wasn’t too damn high.
As most of you know, I love dogs. Dogs are great. They love you, they cherish your every word. Their hearts only beat to please you. They never stab you in the back. They don’t covet what you have (unless it’s a cheeseburger or the likes). And they never talk back (unless they want a cheeseburger or the likes).
People, on the other hand, sometimes confound me. It’s human nature to always focus like a laser beam on the negative. Perhaps I’m guilty of that. Newsflash – Houston, Texas went under water two weeks ago. Some people lost some things. Some lost everything. One of my neighbors, who lost almost everything, runs his business from his house. Since his house was totaled, he had no office.
Now, our house got flooded as well. We didn’t have to move out, we just moved up. Upstairs that is. I haven’t been upstairs in my house for five years (since my boys moved out). I will admit, it is nice up there. But, it does seem like an awful lot of exercise, climbing those stairs. So, there’s that. We have three rooms upstairs so I offered my neighbor one of them to office out of. Really, it was nothing, and hopefully something someone would have offered me. After speaking with him, I found out he pretty much had no place to live. He told me one of his friends had an empty apartment and offered it to him and his family. The only kicker was, he would have to pay rent. The rent? One dollar a month. That’s when I figured out I was getting ripped off, so I told him I was going to have to charge him one dollar a month for his home office in my house. Hey, a buck’s a buck.
All kidding aside, after all my neighbors have been through, my heart was filled with joy. Perhaps there is hope for the human race. Perhaps we may just be as noble, trusting, and loving as the canine. Yes, I think we just may be. No more focusing on the negative for me. So, the rent, this time it’s not too damn high. It’s just right. Yeah, my heart is full with the kindness and dedication I have witnessed over the several weeks.
I also volunteer (for ten years) as an adviser for a youth group. They were very kind and wanted to come help my family clean up and rebuild after the flood. I instructed them to help others around the neighborhood who needed it more. I could handle my clean up. It only would take a little elbow grease and a clothes pin for my nose to keep the stanky smell out. I have never been more proud, watching them clean up other peoples flood damaged homes, with nothing to gain but the self-satisfaction of knowing they were lending a helping hand. Great boys with the heart of a lion!
And just before abandoning their house and leaving for a long time, our neighbors taped a big sign on their oak tree: Our prayers are with you. That was their concern and final act before being forced to leave. Prayers are a powerful thing and something in short supply today. But the message was loud and clear.
So, the rent’s not too damn high. It’s just right. And human nature, maybe not as bad as I imagined. And prayers, they’re out there. You just have to let yourself hear them and benefit from them.
We’re gonna be alright. Prayers and good deeds are spreading like peanut butter.