Saturday, July 12, 2008

Troy VanderStelt

I cannot stop thinking about Troy VanderStelt. I did not know him, yet I feel as if I did know him.

Troy was a fellow father, husband, and Michigan Realtor. From what I have read, much of what he did focused on doing the best he could in those three roles.

Troy was not responsible for the depressed Michigan real estate market. He did not misrepresent the state of the market. All he did was go in to work on July 1, and work to provide for his family and service his clients to the best of his ability in an extremely difficult market. For those efforts, Troy was shot and killed in his office on a Tuesday morning.

It is extremely easy to attempt to rationalize the irrational by application of the 'lone nut' theory, or by speculating that he or some other individual 'must have' said or done something that somehow contributed to this heinous and unspeakable act. This attempt at rationalization allows us to convince ourselves that something like this could never possibly happen to us. You might as well just stick your head in the sand.

The fact is that we currently are living in very stressful financial times. And that is putting it mildly. We know that our home is often our largest investment, and we have come to depend on our home as an appreciating asset. We also become so emotionally attached to our homes that we choose to ignore the realities of the declining market around us. It is when the reality actually begins to set in that we lash out with a knee-jerk reaction of shifting blame. We live in a self-centered, self-obsessed, instant gratification, the rules-don't-apply-to-me world.

We, as a society, have collectively created and perpetuate an environment where we do absolutely everything possible to place blame for our individual circumstances everywhere else than where the blame actually resides. The tragic examples of this phenomenon are, unfortunately, endless. School shootings, workplace shootings, postal shootings, and other random shootings continue to multiply. It seems to me that there are no efforts being made to get to the root of these problems. I don't have the answer. I can only pray for the VanderStelt family, and pray the Serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I encourage you to do the same. That's a start, anyway.

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