Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Want to Be a Nobody

Proverbs 12:9
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

A few months ago Gerald and I met the Baileys, the couple who owned a home we were considering purchasing. The Baileys were nothing to write home about as my friend, Lauren, from high school would always say. They looked like average people just trying to sell a home like everyone else in this economy.

After a few minutes of walking through the house and talking to them, we realized how much they reminded us of ourselves. They have been partners in their real estate business for 28 years and married for forty! She handled all the paperwork side of the business, but wasn't afraid to get dirty when necessary and he did the "hard labor" as he called it. Yup, we saw Gerald and Patrice in thirty or forty years written all over them!

We stayed for awhile talking about marriage, children, real estate and the like. Suddenly after a few subtle comments, it hit us both that we were in the presence of multi-multi-multi millionaires! Couldn't have guessed it by the holes in his Reeboks or her faded red top, but they were! It was obvious that they don't reveal their personal business to everyone that comes knocking, but they eventually were comfortable enough to tell us about their 40 pieces of free and clear property, "mini" yacht and thriving investments. Who would've known by their appearance that the Baileys were rolling in dough?

That's just it! Appearances really don't mean two cents these days. Actually they never have for that matter. Each day we meet people who can't wait to tell you about what they have, how much it costs, their extravagant lifestyles and blah, blah, blah. They want you to know that they are somebody and you better recognize it! But if we actually got close enough to know them, we'd find that they can't even afford the clothes on their back or the Prada shoes on their feet.

This economy will hopefully teach us that its not about what others perceive us to have, but what we know we have accumulated in the bank! The Baileys could care less about what we thought about their faded shirts and Reeboks because every day they drive home in their paid off car to their mortgage free home on the lake, with their paid off yacht docked in the back! I think this is the life God intended for us all - not the one where we try to keep up with the Joneses, but one where we can live in harmony with the Baileys.

Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth & Be Blessed!


Shamira-Christine said...

awesome entry Patrice! Royce and I are always saying to each other how we ALREADY know how to live with just the basics, as we watch people living beyond their means fall apart...and now that things are getting better for us, we continue to live by that virtue. (Can't buy or do everything that everyone's doing if we really can't afford it.) To be honest, I can't even enjoy things/trips that I do that are beyond my means...I would be too busy worrying about how to make ends meet again!

Naseema said...

I think we all have been at a point in our lives when we thought that flossing was symbolic of making it. I know I felt like that. It was not until I felt like I had finally felt "accomplised" but was actually struggling financially, mentally and sprititually that I realized that I didn't have anything. Now,that I now longer have it, I can confidentlly say I feel like I have so much more. Its humling but it puts everything into perspective.

Patrice Cunningham Washington said...

Naseema, I know exactly what you mean! Its good to get in touch with whats really important in life - not all the crap that we were taught in school or encouraged to do by folks that didnt have it themselves.

We're in a much happier place these days too.