Living in the Now

Donald Arace | June 2020

Donald Arace

As we head into another re-opening phase, let’s take a moment to reflect on our current events as well as our present state of affairs.

After enduring a three-month pandemic that stopped the world, it is only now that we begin to emerge from a “shelter in place.” The phrase itself, “shelter in place,” is frightening. The world has changed before our very eyes in a way that we could not have predicted prior to March 1, 2020.

It is said, however, that this experience has propelled us 10 years into the future!

This presents a new set of questions: What does this future look like? Do we even like this new future?

Some believe that we have entered into a “new normal.” However, what is normal about a “new normal?” Does this mean that we will “ding” into meetings? Are we transitioning to screen time as a means of true “face time?” Does “hanging out” mean entering a new Google meeting through the corner of a screen that “pops up?” Are we reconnecting or are we zooming farther into the future, losing our face time with humanity?

Let’s now evaluate how this “new norm” may propel our society into an even better world…

Over the past 20 years, our country has suffered trauma from extreme religion (9/11 in 2001), extreme business (Financial Meltdown 2008), extreme political division (Presidential election 2016), and now we add the extreme health concern, (COVID pandemic 2020).

“Shelter in place” denotes a mere three months that has mounted anxiety and depression in an already fragile virtual world of IPhones, Androids, tablets and numerous other amounts of social media.

Are we to believe that technology through virtual business will allow us to satisfy an already neurotic buyer and seller’s nerves? Really, I don’t think so.

Human contact is required now more than ever. Helping buyers and sellers, as well as taking them by the hand, literally and/or figuratively, through a real estate and mortgage transaction is a priority.

Eckart Tolle wrote the book, “The Power of NOW.” He conveys that in order to truly be happy, we must enjoy every moment in the “now.” Like our bodies, which require proper food, exercise and rest, our mind, which many say is a computer, needs to be quiet in order for us to experience our true being. Let’s call it Zen or Nirvana. It is only then that we will be fulfilled and living in the now.

It seems that everyone is “now” running headlong toward more hyperbolic connections with transient forms of technology when in fact, more than ever, we need person-to-person human contact.

Yes, I do agree that our business requires technology for marketing clients, processing and closing mortgages. But, for the last several years, a number of local lenders, particularly mortgage brokers, consolidated offices and pooled support through new technology offered by third party providers. By utilizing these resources, we continued to operate efficiently during a pandemic. In the throes of this unforeseen period, brokers did not miss a beat. In fact, the pandemic confirmed our systems worked fine. As long as a client has good credit, assets and employment loans closed as usual. This shift in operational efficiency “had already occurred over the last 10 years” and was useful during the shelter in place period.

What is required “now” is a rebuild of the connective tissue through human interaction.

For now, let’s tapper down talking about the next new virtual tour and our virtual mortgage, as it is always there. Let’s talk about connecting with people once again. After all, wasn’t that what we all yearned for during this pandemic? Experiencing the joy of that interpersonal polite discourse about business and personal life. This is what makes us human and fulfills us as human beings.

If this experience has taught us anything, it is that we need each other in the most basic way through human contact and that is only achieved by meeting in person and living in the NOW.
It’s nice to be back, enjoy your summer!

Donald Arace
Donald Arace is the regional manager for Hudson United Mortgage, which is based in Elmsford. He is a long-time write for Real Estate In-Depth. He is a past HGAR Affiliate of the Year honoree and has served as a former co-chair of the association’s Hearts for the Homeless campaign. He is currently a member of the HG Foundation.