Wake up call for a 55-plus community

January 10, 2013

Our senior residents bought into our community to enhance their longevity with an agreement of sale for an adequate fitness center, pool, walking trail, and a real honest to goodness clubhouse with enough square feet to accommodate the social needs of all the residents. We were told ground would be broken to build the clubhouse within a year. Consequently, we were willing to pay ungodly prices for our homes.

Three years later, the master multi-millionaire developer has recently implied that we may get these necessary health and social amenities in approximately 10 to 12 years. We continue to get thrown change ups!

It is truly an interesting social phenomenon observing the majority of our community residents in our 55-plus development being mesmerized by an authoritarian figure. They even voted down a grievance committee. We can’t develop as a civil community in that mode. In that respect, give the Tea Party members credit for challenging the government authority figures on issues that they perceive to be unfair. Many of our residents, unlike the Tea Party, sit passively in our quarterly meetings like obedient sheep in the fold.

Who would risk straying from the flock? Some do, but too many do not. This has caused division among the residents. We are misplacing our priority to challenge an autocratic management. Instead, we are at odds with one another. Sigmund Freud, psychiatrist, would have referred to the hypnotic spell of our passive residents as the “primal-herd instinct.”

My own college experience taught me to always question authority. This led to the next step in the mental evolutionary process to challenge authority if need be. The final step in the process is achieving autonomy and ego mastery. This is called  the maturation process. My own collective bargaining union came into existence one member at a time to challenge authority and gain an equal playing field to negotiate with management. We were served well for many years thereafter. We did not remain sheep in the fold. Otherwise, we could not have secured a good retirement package.

The problem we have obtaining ego-mastery is that we have been slaves to authoritarian institutions most of our lives. Examples are the church, military, and work. Let’s not forget some of our parents who were too strict also! We are too often trained to obediently obey even unreasonable rules.

My wish for the New Year is for the majority of our dear residents to wake from their slumber and speak out for their rights. Let’s work together as a team to develop our own Emancipation Proclamation in this New Year.

Bill Clemens

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