Are you Laying Bricks or Building a Cathedral?
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If you have been doing appraising for any time at all, you have likely experienced some of the more irritating aspects of our profession: the AMCs, the call backs, or one of my personal favorites, a Realtor’s protest “the idiot appraiser doesn’t know it’s supply and demand! I have a buyer!”
An old folk story helps me through days like these, and it goes like this:
A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing, and the man said he was laying bricks. He asked the second man the same question and he said he was putting up a wall. When he got to the third man and asked him what he was doing he said he was building a cathedral.
I love our profession! It offers me freedom to schedule, work as hard as I wish, get out of the office, meet people, and still do analysis and computer work. But more than these things, I can play a critical role in helping people achieve their dreams. I have always been interested in the philosophy of economics, which concerns the interconnections of how markets, national policies, cultural identity, and liberty work together. Our country’s founding principles include the value of private ownership and its importance to self-governance and liberty. (The writings of John Locke influenced our Founders with ideas of Natural Rights and Life, Liberty and Property).
My father was an immigrant who left socialism and a more centrally planned economy. I grew up hearing my father marvel aloud, “Only in America can a person escape poverty by working and serving others.” He loved his adopted country, and its opportunities, arriving at Ellis Island penniless but with a dream. He passed away last year at 92 years of age with successes he could never have imagined possible.
When fatigued with the nonsense side of our industry, be encouraged that what we do is of major importance in protecting private property rights. So, despite the occasional challenges we put up with, ours is a high calling!
So, are you laying bricks today, putting up a wall, or are you building a cathedral?
By James Loizou, Suburban Appraisers & Consultants Inc., is a VaCAP Member