PRESIDENT'S CORNER: ‘I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together’

Crystal Hawkins Syska | December 14, 2021

Crystal Hawkins Syska, HGAR President 2021

“Carol Burnett and Friends” was one of my favorite shows as a kid growing up. I wasn’t born when the original series aired, but I saw reruns when they ran it in syndication in the 1980s. The sketches were down right hilarious. If you have never seen the show, the powers of the Internet can bring it alive at any time if you want to take a gander. It makes me think about how much simpler life was back then.

Back then, there were only a few channels to watch on television. In fact, some of you will recall as I do that TV stations actually went static at midnight. In fact, if I remember correctly, TV didn’t even start until 6 a.m. or so in the morning. In my household, TV didn’t come on until late morning. There was breakfast, chores, prayers and conversations with the family that had to happen in the morning before the “tube” could even be turned on. There were no cell phones or telephone answering machines. You just had to wait until someone got home to talk to them. Unless there was some true emergency while at work (i.e. someone died, power went out, someone needed immediate surgery…) phone calls waited until the next day. There was just a peace that existed in those times that is hard to duplicate now.

We are now a 24 hours a day, seven days a week on demand society. There is very little delayed gratification for anything. I often wonder if that’s why everyone is so stressed out. This generation of young people have anxiety and depression at unprecedented levels. In our business we are not spared. When clients and customers surf the Internet at all hours of the day and night, texts and e-mails can come to us non-stop. The need to be competitive is demanding more immediate response times. Therefore, leveraging ourselves with technology is a necessity to stay relevant. Expectations are so much higher. What is “realistic” is constantly being challenged by market disruptors across other industries.

Serving as President of The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors has allowed me to develop a greater depth of understanding about our industry. We are going at such high speeds, innovation is changing everything. In addition, ideologies, political pressures and misinformation are impacting real estate as we know it. I have been humbled by the experience and feel privileged to serve. I want to thank you all for allowing me to serve in this position.

As I step into other roles and continue to run my business, I want to talk about simplicity and the basics. We have to turn ourselves off sometimes. Like the times of yester-year. There has to be a moment during the day, the week and the month where we are unavailable. If we can’t regroup we are not good to anyone. Read a book. Neuroscience research has shown that our brains actually process information differently when it comes to printed pages versus a screen. Get off of the rumor mill that functions on the Internet. I wanted to suggest a book to read. “Manufacturing Consent, The Political Economy of the Mass Media” by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.

There are too many actors spewing information and opinion and name calling. Any Tom, Dick or Jane can prop themselves up on the Internet as a “source” of information and people believe it. It’s e-gossip. Don’t listen to it. Do research from independent sources that research topics without dumping so much of their opinion into it. Connect to other human beings IRL (In Real Life). And for God’s sake, have a good laugh! There is no medicine like hearty laughter. Check out the Carol Burnett show that I spoke about at the outset. We have to make ourselves better to make the world a better place. Without renewing the resource of deepest self, we can’t be a champion of the “American Promise,” stewards of wealth building and prosperity. We have to be guardians of our very souls to do any good at all. Please take my words to heart as we close out 2021 and advance to 2022. I want to end this article, my final one as President, with how Carol Burnett always ended her television show:

“I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh or sing a song
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, So long.”

Well…let’s say, “See you around.” Excelsior!

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