Back in the 1980s in the heyday of the booming real estate market, I was a residential appraiser. As market values started to creep higher and higher I was entering homes that had what appeared to be high end finishes that appealed to people and were selling well. One day, entering a property still under construction for the mortgage appraisal, I saw a finish carpenter placing the crown molding in the living room. He was spacing the nails about 4 inches apart. I commented on that, expecting to hear that in a million dollar house extra attention was used. No, instead the worker told me the piece of wood was so warped it needed the extra nails. But, he assured me, once it was painted, no one would ever know.
And so it goes. We look for the flash, not the substance.
Move forward to today where in a small city in Oregon a house has a contract for sale. Currently occupied by a friend who is moving out this weekend, she knows all too well the aches and pains of the structure, as anyone living in a house knows things that a visitor may not notice. But a home inspector should. The buyer for this house was pro-active and actually paid for a home inspection before he made his offer. The inspection did not indicate the inadequate electrical system, the poor insulation, the settling problems. Upon accepting the offer, the seller is replacing some items, like the back door that would no longer close because of the house settling. But the new door is already off-center, two weeks after installation.
Surface fix, not a real one.
While both examples are from home construction and maintenance, the problem is pervasive everywhere in society. We tend not to “get involved” in politics but know all the latest gossip about Kim Kardashian’s butt. We know and muse that Charles Manson is now engaged to be married but are horrified about the many mature adults who are contributing members of society who want to marry but somehow are more offensive to many because they are homosexuals.
Think people. What are YOU doing to turn this place around? When you read something that jerks your string, do you bother to verify it, or are you only too happy to shout it to the world? Do you post sad photos of dogs out in cold weather but condemn the homeless people who may be in your town for putting themselves in that position? You criticize other people who profess their religion for not being true believers but the words that roll off your souls are angry and nonloving.