My parents bought their first home for under $18K. It was a starter street but with some wicked smart folks and we all got along and kids played together and especially when they called on Dad. Everybody played, if it meant a 12 year-old carried a three year-old to a touchdown or a base hit in our back yard.

I’ve never believed in the ladder theory where everyone upstairs has to kick an associate down a rung or two. Leadership and teamwork, it’s the only way to go.

High school, it’s all people in your socio-economic level, college there’s a mix. Work, an even bigger mix and it’s frightening to some but liberating for me.

With living, it’s interesting. We all got along on our street and out in the country. In high school there were clicques and in college a vastly different story.

We live in a city with a rust belt mentality in a very nice place with a view. The last place we did that was in the Rockies. Our year-round neighbor-friends knew we were here for each other whatever came along and counted on that while we threw a few pot luck dinners a year to get together by the fire or outdoors.

Every once in a while I came by a snob who looked down on me but didn’t give in to their prejudice that I couldn’t afford an $8 million dollar home. Over 90% of the time we met really interesting people from all over the world and it was a scenic and joyful experience.

Here there are some people who also think they’re above all others and seem to think I’m beneath them. I do not send mass emails or any of the jokes my father sends to me. What I do is personal and meaningful hopefully for the person on the other end. I care very much about that.

Today I was dismissed by two neighbors, one who was too busy as I was about to say “have a good day, ‘bye” and another who said not to send emails that don’t pertain to him when he couldn’t read that the issue directly impacted him.

People think of themselves on certain levels and treat others according to keeping that step on the ladder intact. When an issue is of interest they may bite in an ephemeral way. Yes, they may write an email and never go on.

I like to think that every person should be given a chance to survive and surprise. Just as I’ve done shelter work for 20 years and believe that nearly every dog and cat deserve an opportunity to live and thrive with a good family.

Egotism and being quasi-elite don’t have a place in our lives. We are smart, simple people who simply want to change the world. The business and non-profit worlds at least. Everyone has potential and should be treated equally.

If one has some status as a celebrity, star athlete, politician, business person, bring people up. It only can make you look better. If a star, give a kid an autograph then help out your community. Think about what you’ve earned and what life has given you and give back. Don’t give to Make A Wish, think about where you learned to play basketball or who your mentor is/was and think about the folks who can learn from your experience, not about you.

Think Cal Ripken. Every game, no drugs. And he gives money to help adults learn to read, among other charitable pursuits. If you have something to share, whether it be piano or football or history, share it. And not only for the cameras. Be real, Dee


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