Last night, Cory and I attended a developer meeting for our community. The first half an hour was great: the developer discussed the exciting future plans for our area and I thought, Wow I am so lucky to live this kind of life. I feel proud.
Then, the developer opened the floor for questions…and my mind was literally blown to smithereens.
This man was bombarded by angry adults, yelling and complaining passionately, waving their HOA documents (note: this was not an HOA meeting) and demanding answers.
How will we monitor how many guests people bring to the pool?!*
We really have to share the pool with the [CHILDREN'S] swim team four nights a week?*
My neighbor has had a camper outside of their house for months and the HOA has done NOTHING ABOUT IT!*
There is a hole in the Earth next to my house – it wasn’t there when we closed – who’s going to fix this?* (To this, I thought: Are you there, God? Ann’s pissed.)
Can you please work on adding more equipment to the play ground? My three-year-old has nothing to do but chew mulch. I would bring her toys from home, but those are the toys she sees everyday.*
At this point, all my pride had dissipated and I felt embarrassed. I was embarrassed to be among a group of adults complaining with fiery passion about mulch and chair space at the pool.
I felt embarrassed that I spent over an hour of my time listening to this foolishness. This was an hour of time I could have volunteered to something substantial: hunger, homelessness, coaching, an animal shelter, etc.
This made me realize how truly, truly fortunate we (i.e. anyone who’s reading this on a computer/phone/iPad) are, how out of touch we are, and how unwilling we are to fix our own “problems.”
If someone upsets you, talk to them.
If you’ve reached a dead end, back track and find another way around.
If you’re yelling and no one is listening, soften your approach.
If the pool, your children’s toys, or the imperfections in your lawn are the biggest of your concerns, take a step back and refocus.
We’re privileged. And we shouldn’t take it for granted.
*Actual comments made at the meeting