On The Brink of Existence

I recently attended the National Association of Realtors Rethink event in Minneapolis. There were many different types of agents there. All generations in our industry. It was very interesting to hear everyone’s opinions on our future.

There was a lot of talk regarding certain generations and how younger generations could change the way we live. The generalization of a certain group of people changing it all is disturbing to me. I have never felt like my generation as a whole has defined who I am.

You could look at my son as an example. Most would say his generation is screwed. They have supposedly been given everything they have ever wanted. I have to disagree. I try to teach my son that money and things are not important. I know there are days that I know he has a hard time understanding why some kids have more toys or games than he does. This is something that every kid has faced in every generation. I know that in my son’s case, what I am teaching him is starting to sink in. This became apparent on his birthday. He received $140 from gifts. He was very excited to spend it. Yet, when we went shopping, he spent $25 on himself and used the rest to buy gifts for his cousins. This gives my so much hope for his future.

One big issue that was brought up was with the way our world is changing now, will we exist in the future. With every piece of information out there for our consumers, why are we needed? Could our industry turn into the next eBay or amazon and people simply being able to add a home to a shopping cart and click order.

It made me think of the plot behind the movie “Terminator”. Is our future doomed by the possibility of Machines taking over? A similar plot is also portrayed in the movie “Wall-e”. Will we over consume to the point to where we need to leave the planet? How could human contact ever be replaced?

I remember a conversation my grandmother saying to me years ago that she would never want to live in the world I live in. This was coming from a woman who lived through war, recession, ect. This statement seemed to live with me my whole life.

Yes, the world is changing. Over the last several years, we are doing more with less. I can’t help but think that this is a good thing. I think about my grandparents and how their life was more about raising a family and not about selfish insecurities and thoughts of appearance. Are we heading back down this road? People are generally making less, doing more with less and they are forced to adjust their lifestyles to deal with the hard times. Yet we still dream of our ideal existence…. Money, fame, success, love, peace and all the SHINY objects we think we need.

So what is the American Dream?  I heard this over and over at the REthink event. I think the typical American dream has changed.  I truly believe that we as a whole have been able to see what our overconsumption and lifestyle choices can do to us. We have adapted and become stronger. We need to get back to the basics of simply “living”.
Nothing else matters anymore.

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