Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cutting thru the fluff.

I'm going to take the next week to focus on the fluff that gets in our way. The fluff I'm referring to is like the "Foam" or "Froth" that covers the real issue. In Real Estate, Froth refers to the synthetic "above waterline" price of housing. When the RE market is good, the price of housing has a 10 percent inflated cieling. When prices first start to drop, experts say, the market is just cutting thru the froth. A good example of fluff or froth is the foam on top of a cappiccino. Underneath this layer of steamed milk is your esspresso drink.

Fluff has to do with appearance. Sometimes tradition. But the truth is, Fluff always has to do with perception. Right or wrong, fluff has an affect on the total package.

Fluff comes in many forms. Bling, razzle dazzle, Mont Blanc, French braids, BMW or maybe just plain practice. Take the parrable of the "Good Samaritan" in the Bible. The parrable is a story about a man who was on the treacherous road from Jeruselem to Jericho. The "road to Jericho" was sort of like the road from San Diego to Ensenada Mexico. YOu don't want to break down on this road because triple A aint gonna dispatch a truck to come help you.

In the story Jesus tells, a certain man (race unidentified) is beaten, robbed, stripped and left for dead on the side of the road. The first to happen upon the man was a Priest. Instead of renering aid to the man, he crossed over on the otherside of the road as he passed.

The 2nd man to come upon the injured man was a Levite (assistants to priests, and decendendts of Levi) And likewise the Levite crossed to the otherside of the road.

The 3rd man to come along was a Samaritan. (a halfbreed Jew/samaritan) Samaritans were outcasts to the jews. They "ate the flesh of swine". However unlike the Prieste and the LEvite, the samaritan showed compassion and stopped by the wayside and rendered first aid using oils and wine to mend his wounds. He picked up the man, layed him across his beast, and carried him into the next town. He delivered him to an Inn where he paid for his night's stay and gave a promise to pay further debts incurred by the man.

One would think that the Priest and Levite would have been obligated first to render compassion to the wounded man. But let's cut thru the fluff. Under jewish law, if a person touched a dead body, or came within a certain distance of a dead body, they would risk "defilement" or "corruption". The process for purging yourself of defilement included spending 2 weeks on the "wailing wall" which would mean a loss of 2 weeks wages. So the fluff in this case was Money.

So many times we focus on the fluff and not the substance. Jesus used this parrable to explain to a "lawyer" (of the pharisees) who your neighbor was.


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