Look Inside For Change But You Still May Be An Onion Lady

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Binocular SurveyingMany real estate agents will get frustrated with the actions of their associates or their clients. Shoot, even here on Active Rain Members poke at other Members. What to think of all this in the world? Well, when people are mean or inconsiderate it usually means they are hurting inside from something in the past or just some bad habit they picked up along the way. Only they can change themselves and mildly, maybe, you can influence them. But the error in our looking external all the time at other people is THAT is NOT what we can change.

   Look Inside For Change But Still You May Be An Onion Lady.

We truly can only change ourselves. Those binoculars need to be flipped around on their end and we examine our own inside. Our interior motives, weaknesses and flaws. That's where the real emphasis needs to lie. But it is tough work. We are slow, if not even unwilling to change our ways. How'd we get so stubborn? Who knows? But only we can fix ourselves.

Revers BinocularsTo illustrate that sometimes we are what we are, here is the fable of the onion lady.

Once upon a time there was a peasant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; ‘She once pulled up an onion in her garden,' said he, ‘and gave it to a beggar woman.' And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.' The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. ‘Come,' said he, ‘catch hold and I'll pull you out.' he began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. ‘I'm to be pulled out, not you. It's my onion, not yours.' As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day. So the angel wept and went away.  ~ Dostoevsky

So looking inside we should endeavor to love instead. What does love look like?

It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. This is what love looks like. ~ St. Augustine


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Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Gary, Well done and very thought provoking.  I hadn't heard the "onion lady" story.


Jan 31, 2010 09:42 AM #7
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Gary, great story, sometimes we keep shedding the layers that are our own personal onion while we attempt to get to something that is true.

Jan 31, 2010 09:57 AM #8
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Gary, the self reflection is an easy thing.  Recognizing the bad and changing it is the hard part.

Jan 31, 2010 10:20 AM #9
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

So much truth in the Onion Lady fable.  I had never heard that one before.  Nice reminder that it's what is inside that counts.

Jan 31, 2010 10:36 AM #10
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

How'd you get to be so good, Gary?  (And would you think any less of me if I told you I once tried..but failed...to read Dostoevsky?) -- Tanya in Montreal

Jan 31, 2010 10:51 AM #11
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Reminds me of the story of the man that was given a tour of heaven and of hell.  St Peter took him to hell first. There was a huge banquet table laid with every conceivable kind of delicious food but strapped to the arms and hands of the people at the table were a very long huge fork and a very long huge spoon.  They would dip into the food and try to eat but the utensils were too long and they could not get it into their mouths.   They were hungry and crying, screaming and miserable because they could not get any food into their mouths. 

Then St Peter took him to heaven.  Heaven also had a similar huge banquet table full of every conceivable kind of delicous food and again strapped to their hands were very long big utensils, a very long fork on one arm and a very long spoon on the other.  The people were smiling and visiting and happy.  The difference was that they were not trying to feed themselves, they were feeding each other. 

Have a great week.

Jan 31, 2010 11:05 AM #12
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Your post reminds me to hesitate before judging and figure out why it would even be necessary. We are here to help each other, not step over each other with our eyes only on the prize. Thanks Gary!

Jan 31, 2010 11:23 AM #13
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Wonderful story Gary!  I haven't managed to read any works of Dostoevsky, so thanks for the great sample!

Jan 31, 2010 01:24 PM #14
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Are you a Doctor of Divinity or a healer?  Gosh, I always love stopping by for either my moral lesson of the day, a laugh or some thought-provoking ponderance.  Thanks, as always. 

Jan 31, 2010 01:28 PM #15
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Gary,  What a wonderful story you have told us all.  The onion lady should not have kicked the other poor souls....let this be a lesson for all!  I was just telling me daughter today that possibly some of her friends were acting so ugly because they had so many things going on within themselves.  So hard for kids to understand, but we as adults surely can!  We should all love one another and be more forgiving when someone is having a tough time.  Have a wonderful week my friend!

Jan 31, 2010 01:53 PM #16
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Thank goodness, I got my dose of Woltal juice today - what a beautiful quote by St. Augustine, and I shall not forget the story of the onion lady! Thanks Gary.

Jan 31, 2010 02:28 PM #17
Bob Dunn
Sutton Group West Coast Realty - Abbotsford, BC

The hardest journey in self discovery and spiritual development is the journey into out own heart. Well said Gary. Thank you.

Jan 31, 2010 03:57 PM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Gary, I'm sorry to say there are just some mean and vicious people in this world.  I loved the story and will think of them with kindness as I come across them!

Feb 01, 2010 04:29 AM #19
Guy Thomas
WR Starkey Mortgage - Colorado Springs, CO

A great lesson to ponder. How true it is that from within is where  change will manifest in each of us.

Feb 01, 2010 06:57 AM #20
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United RealtorsĀ® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Gary,

It's later in the day and I've been on several listing appointments and trying to finish up reports before heading home! I was in need of some inspiration from your post and you did not disappoint me. I've never heard the story of the onion lady and I won't forget it. What love looks like from St Augustine has always been a favorite of mine. Thanks for something old and something new..you made my day.

Feb 01, 2010 10:12 AM #21
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Gary, great story!  So often we need to mow our own backyard before we criticize the weeds of the neighbor's... Nice post!  Thank you!

Feb 01, 2010 02:54 PM #22
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Gary - I think I remember the priest in my church telling this story.  Beautiful.  Some people can never be changed.  I pray for them.

Feb 01, 2010 03:50 PM #23
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Hi Gary .......What a wonderful post.  You never fail  to inspire .....the kin to Chicken Soup for the Soul.   I shake my head because I can not figure how your post can bet better and better and better...when they were perfection from post 1.

I admire your tenacity, dedication and the ability to touch the hearts of so many of your readers.  It truly is a gift to reach and touch hearts.  I am sure you have removed the stone from many harden hearts, healed the hurting heart and touched the hearts of all that love you dearly....Thanks you for sharing your gifted words.  You are loved dear friend..........................


Feb 01, 2010 10:35 PM #24
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA


What a beautiful post.  Today a friend on FB mentioned  urbandictionary.com


you write your name on it and it tells you what it means.  Mine means "bringer of love"  I really liked that.


Feb 02, 2010 10:48 AM #25
Diane Williams
Pell City, AL

Hey Gary,  Nice inspiring story.  It's not all about me, it's about helping others.

Feb 21, 2010 03:48 AM #26
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Gary Woltal

Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
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