Building Better Neighborhoods

Hi, it’s me Joseph!  Apparently, the first day of fall was on Friday!  Not for me! #Imakemyownrules  I have decided to extend summer just a bit longer and apparently the Rochester weather has agreed with me.  In fact, in some sense, we all need to extend summer.  Let me explain.

Drive through any neighborhood during the summer and you’ll find all sorts of people out and about talking on their porches, at fences, or the ends of their driveway when they grab the mail.  Talking, communicating, investing time in each other, even if it’s only for a few minutes.  I wish that could happen all year round. #Sundaydinners

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about neighbors and community.  Last month, I was very sensitive to everything going on in the world, hell, I have been sensitive since November! I read a piece that has stuck with me about positive working environments and I got to thinking how it applied to the community in general….

Allow me to paraphrase:

My experience with black homeowners in the neighborhood:  one homeowner brought out food and drinks for only a black man on the street. One spent 12 hrs slow smoking meat and cooking jambalaya and corn and ribs for everyone. One wouldn’t let me borrow their weed-eater, and one offered anything they had in their garage & fridge, their bathroom and pool to me and the other neighbors. 

My experience with white homeowners:  one wouldn’t let us park in their driveway and told us not to bother them while they worked from home. One cooked chicken and steak for dinner and ordered us pizza for lunch. One made remarks about the way a black guy looked to another neighbor, one didn’t treat any of us differently, whatsoever.

Point being is  that some people are assholes and some aren’t. It’s usually easy to tell which is which and not by the color of their skin.  Black, White, Asian, Indian, Gay, Straight, we are all neighbors and we need to learn about and from one another in order to move this world forward.

We don’t need to build walls, we need to build bridges. We don’t need to strip people of their human rights based on the color of their skin or who they love, we need to protect them.  Silence is not always golden.  Yes, we have to choose our battles carefully and Lord knows, there are many to choose from, but to choose nothing is nothing short of cowardice.

And, when we do speak, let’s speak in truth and kindness. The minute we are comfortable talking to or about a particular race or culture is the minute we dehumanize them.   Words can leave just as many scars as a physical attack and unfortunately, many have been attacked in the name of peaceful protest.

As a realtor, and I have shared this many a time before dear reader, it’s my passion to put a roof over someone’s head.  In accordance with fair housing laws, which I take ever so seriously, I’m not going to judge what’s going on under your roof based on the color of your skin, your religion, your sexual orientation or even your bad fashion choices.   I’m going to accept you, learn from you, and find what is intentionally amazing in the story that is you. However, if you’re mean, racist, and/or unable to understand why your sick humor or comments are offensive, all bets are off.   I will speak up, step up, help another get up.  If good people do nothing, nothing will change.

Let’s build better neighborhoods by getting to know our neighbors. That’s really where change starts.  The truth is, there is no remedy for being human.  All of us fall short of perfect on a daily basis.  However, let’s invest in each other; let’s assume good intent before we rush to judgment.  Let’s create a space where conversation can take place, where kindness matters and all people are respected.   We may not agree on everything, but we all agree that mean people suck, so let’s start there.

If you’re looking for a roof over your head, can help you.  We can’t guarantee that you won’t find a wackadoodle or two in your neighborhood #bethechange, but we can absolutely guarantee that when you work with us, you will be protected and respected.  It would be an honor to be your advocate.  Contact us today!

Building a Better Neighborhood with You,

Joseph, Joey, Victoria