PRESIDENT'S CORNER: The Belief in What We Cannot See

Crystal Hawkins Syska | September 21, 2021

Crystal Hawkins Syska, HGAR President 2021

“We Want You!” “Be All That You Can Be.” If you are a person of a certain vintage, you will remember these slogans on posters and billboards. They were advertisements to join the Army. Later on, commercials that were so gallant and emotional would do the same for the Navy. It struck me that our whole system survives not squarely on our professions. Rather, by the millions of volunteers locally and nationally that support every industry and level of government. Who could argue that those who wish to give their lives for their country are a special band of humans who have the will to make the ultimate sacrifice. So, as you read these words, please take this moment to pause for your fallen warriors.

I have been in a heavy state of contemplation as we all see world events unfolding in regards to our foreign wars. I find myself frustrated and heartbroken. As I believe many of us feel the same. In everything big and small, I attempt to extract some life lessons that are actionable in my life journey. It made me think what motivates some to give of themselves to the point of death and others not even to devote 30 seconds of their consciousness to consider anything outside what they can see with their own two eyes.

Currently I am reading the book “Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. Whether you believe in creation, intelligent design or evolution, the assertions made in this book are fascinating. Harari contends that what allowed Homo Sapiens to take over the planet was not their brain size, tool making or strength. In fact, Homo Neanderthals were superior on all counts. No, it was the cognitive ability for Homo Sapiens’ ability to believe and create things that you could not see. Like the belief in God, justice or a corporation. Surely the aforementioned are not like trees, a river, or wild game. It is this leap in consciousness that catapulted Sapiens to the top of the food chain. With it, they were able to organize themselves by the thousands to work together. Our system only works by the leadership, time, sacrifices and beliefs in ideas that we decide are real. Even money falls into that category. Our whole economic structure is something that we created. It doesn’t exist in the natural world and has value only to humans. To help emphasize the point, think of money in comparison to water. Water exists in the natural universe and every single living thing is dependent upon it in the most real sense. Truly money is not “real” as water is “real.” However, the concept of love and fairness can galvanize thousands of volunteers to travel to the remotest parts of the world to help other humans ensure they have clean drinking water.

In this month’s article I wanted to invite you to think about what you believe in that you can’t see with your eyes. What role do those beliefs play in your life? Do you want the role of those beliefs to increase? If so, how will you go about doing it? Are you willing to work with like-minded people for the same goal? How large of a sacrifice are you willing to make to achieve it?

Our government, our system of employment, our industries, our communities are constructs that we collectively have created and agreed to hold together based on rules we make up. Even our justice system falls under this category. We all make sacrifices to keep these systems going. It may not be as heroic as surrendering our lives for the right of freedom. Yet, it can still exist in the realm of what we collectively would define as honorable, necessary and a sacrifice.

Right now, all of our country’s systems, including our economic structure that are fueled by the real estate industry, need citizens and volunteers to redesign and support these systems so they continue to work. It means that we have to rise out of our day-to-day, think greater than our immediate sphere of influence, or our families to keep everything working. It also means volunteerism, leadership, organizing and self-sacrifice—namely your time. If we choose not to, our systems will fall apart. They simply will and we will be reverting to lesser versions of ourselves. For me personally, it was believing in something I cannot see that actually started me on the path that has led to me becoming President of the organization. When I shared by being appointed to different positions; I did receive some congratulations. But more than that, I received more “Are you (insert expletive here) crazy!” or “Why the (more colorful language) doing that!” You see I began to awaken to the notion that we created this real estate system. With it, we have also created beliefs such as pride, dignity and wealth. And with that many are experiencing life on an elevated level based on these concepts that are enriching. Everyone deserves a piece of that. Yet, if I just keep my nose to the grindstone, that system can and will be taken away or destroyed by those not thinking about the advancement of humanity.

You may not think selling houses is all that serious. But, it really is if and only if you stop and think for a minute. If your beliefs call to you, please step into acting for our industry. Volunteer your time. Share your vision, give of your talents. Ultimately, “We Want You” … because we need you. If this article resonates with you on any level, e-mail Gary Connolly at gary.connolly@hgar.com, so I can talk to you on Members Day. Be safe!

Crystal Hawkins Syska
is the 2021 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc