I recently came across an article that sadly reminded me of how attitudes have changed over the last 50 years - attitudes that may have not been realized by people who minded their own business 24/7 in a fast growing, important industry that takes up a contributors attention 24/7. Is it true that just about 80% of all commercial real estate development has occurred during that period? Yes!
Therefore, I am reprinting an obituary that I recently came across from a very remote small-town weekly newspaper and thus missed major media. Here it is: Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old once very respected friend, Common Sense. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the cold. Why the early bird catches the worm. Life isnt always fair. And, maybe it was my fault after all. He lived by simple, sound policies including - Dont spend more that you earn and adults, not children, are in charge.
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but over bearing regulations were set in place. He lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
He lost the will to live as Presidents deregulated things that were previously long standing laws put in place by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And, instead of a flat tax where everyone, rich or poor paid exactly the same percent, the IRS became an over-employed government agency with too much power, and while after FDR served close to four terms as President, someone decided it was safer for the governed (thats us) to be led by a President only allowed to serve two terms.
Common Sense lobbied very hard for same rules be applied to senators and congressmen. Sadly, lobbyists became more powerful than our elected officials and the Golden Rule became "He who has the gold, rules." Common Sense took a real beating when citizens couldnt defend themselves from a burglar in their own home, and the burglar could sue him for assault if it happened. He finally gave up after some women failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, spilled in her lap, found a willing lawyer and sued the store. She was awarded with a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust. Also by his wife, Discretion and by his daughter Responsibility, and his son Reason. He is also survived by four step-brothers; (no true relation, but very well known) Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and Im A Victim.
Sadly, very few attended his funeral because very few remember who Common Sense was.
Roland Hopkins is the founder of the New England Real Estate Journal, Norwell, Mass.