Under Construction

I am back in America, my mind had shifted back to normal, ordinary, and regular habits and routines. But since I have been back, I have noticed quite a large number of changes. These changes are not just physical in terms of new buildings, parks, or street closures, the changes are everywhere.

One example is the construction. It seems everything is under construction. The more I thought about the workplace fences, the hardhats and steel-toed shoes, the construction vehicles and the cranes, the more I thought about progress. This progress is magnificent. The buildings are massive works of art, masterpieces in architecture, standing extremely tall and confident.

Now not every building is under construction, some are under destruction. Have you ever looked at a building that had a broken window? Have you noticed it is almost always abandoned? Have you also noticed that it rarely has just one broken window? Generally, at least in my experience, buildings with one broken window have many broken windows, torn sliding or paint, graffiti, etc. These buildings do not just have one thing wrong with them, they have many. They look poor, dumped, discarded, and rejected.

This spurred a thought in mind. Imagine the building as a person, living, breathing, with a purpose, a family, personality and emotions. The building is designed by us, the builders, and the building’s purpose is usually known before birth, yet it can change during the course of life. With these changes, so does the building’s personality. Now, you may not think that buildings have emotions, but they most certainly do. From now on, think of these buildings as people, maybe even yourself.

Let’s revisit that broken window. Broken windows have been studied socially for years, with the first theory being published in 1982 by Wilson and Kelling. They simply related the broken window (disorder) to crime. If a building has one broken window, the chances of another are very likely, because the people who break the second, third, fourth, etc. window feel less accountable than if they broke the first window or a window on a block with no disorder. This is true in areas with high crime, often there are many abandoned or seriously damaged buildings. Now, think about yourself. If you allow yourself to have a broken window (crime, laziness, excuses…) , even just one, you are allowing yourself to be susceptible to many broken windows. This theory is essential to us, in our fundamental needs as humans to remain successful, happy, and proud of the people we are.

Now for the buildings under construction, this is symbolic for every one of us. We are ALL 100% under construction, all the time, every day, no matter your age. The beauty of a building is only as strong as the foundation with which the building stands on. Your family and friends who raised you are more important that how strongly you stand. The ideals, morals, and traditions you gained from these life experiences will never fade, even though the building (you) may change. Next, a building is constructed from a series of instructions, pathways, diagrams, and steps, which are refined. You are not made perfect overnight, nor in 25 years, 50 years, or 100 years. You are made more perfect each day, as each step is placed together, each floor tile aligned, each ceiling fan hung. You are a work in progress. Even after you are built, standing tall against the storms, the snow, the droughts, the wind, you are being improved. You are never staying complacent, construction continues as you make your building more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more wise.

Dream builders, I know you exist, dreaming up the next wonderful castles, and highest skyscrapers. I know you exist, because I am one, living constantly under construction. Learning and information drives my hard hat, but others may be motivated by visual appeal, religious traditions, or history. Your idea of success may be different than mine, you may have opinions different than your neighbor, but that is why no building is the truly ever the same.  You can dream, design, imagine the most wonderful place, but it takes work, pride, confidence, and effort to keep that building magnificent. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a broken window; a broken window that leads your dream construction into miserable destruction.

The path to success is always under construction. You can build yourself into anything you wish. The dream is yours.

-Happiness in Handfulls

 

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