Tuesday, November 1, 2016

As in Our Daily Life We Struggle

my wife and i own a timeshare, and, on the trip from which we've just returned, we used our timeshare points to stay at a resort where we've never stayed before.  we are often asked to attend an "informational meeting" when we visit a timeshare, and we usually decline.  this time we decided to attend, as the man scheduling the meetings assured us there were changes in the ways we could utilize our timeshare that we would learn about in the hour-long meeting.

the next morning we showed up at the appointed time.  we were kept waiting for ten minutes before being shown into the meeting room, where we joined several other couples.  what was to have been an hour-long meeting, drug on for almost two hours, starting with the large group presentation filled with lists of complicated processes and types of timeshare memberships, followed by a meeting with two individuals who couldn't provide written explanations of the products they were trying to sell us but did provide misinformation in response to questions that we asked.  when we finally brought the session to an end by pointing out that the promised time limit had been exceeded and that we had other things we wanted to do, we managed to avoid displaying our anger or being rude, though it took self-control on the part of both my wife and me.

we left feeling mad and depressed.  how had we allowed ourselves to be placed in this situation again?  every "informational meeting" we've attended with the timeshare company has ended this way, and we were upset with ourselves for being rooked into this situation again.  we promised ourselves, as we have before, never to agree to another of these sales pitches, no matter how charming the scheduler who approaches us.  as we reflected on the encounter, we agreed that the two people with whom we met were not interested in our well-being.  they were only concerned with lining their own pockets and those of the company they represented.  we wondered how many of the couples scattered around the room in cubicles with "personal representatives" had succumbed to their sales pitch.

we enjoyed the rest of our trip, and the resorts where we stayed were comfortable and well-maintained.  we've never regretted purchasing our timeshare and make use of our ownership frequently, as do our children.  we won't limit ourselves to traveling only when we can stay at a timeshare resort, as the company would like us to, and we'll continue to travel in our own way, not their way.  i suppose it's human nature to want to persuade others to act in ways that are advantageous to oneself, even when those actions harm another, but one has only to stop and think to realize that there's a better way to live.  why not think first of the effect of an action on the other person and look for ways that are mutually beneficial?

may we not adopt an "us or them" philosophy of life.  may we regard the needs of others as being as important as our own needs.  may we see others as we see ourselves, never enriching ourselves at the expense of others.  shalom.

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