The power of perspective

In the movie "Sliding Doors," Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow, 1998) is fired from her job and, emotionally shaken, heads home. As she runs down the subway stairs to catch a train that's about to pull away, she drops her keys, stops to pick them up, and misses the train.

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The story then backs up on itself. The scene is played again, she doesn’t drop her keys, and makes the train.

The plot then splits into two parallel stories: all from a point of dissection as small as dropping one’s keys. (i.e. makes train, catches boyfriend with another woman vs. misses train and doesn’t.)

While this movie offers a patronizing nod to destiny, it’s a cinematic reminder that life, work, the economy, human existence, is simply a mosaic of smaller events that shape global outcomes. (No, this is not a pitch for global warming.) Can dropping your keys change your life? Can one person or one event change everything?

Yes.

I’ve witnessed it over and over like instant replay on Sunday’s game.

Such effect is the exhilaration of life and redemptive value of living.

While we sometimes lose sight of the singular events as we emerge from our statistical analysis and trending reports, the drill down, the specific actions, are the core catalysts, the bricks that build everything from our quality of life to the shape of our economy. In this magazine alone, you will read story after story where lives are changed by single events.

It’s also why the story is never over.

We have a great line up this issue including our cover on the state of the multihousing industry, the economy and steering thoughts for 2008. It’s a powerful recap and provides a wide sweep of speculation from the analysts.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Here’s to the next chapter titled, “2008.”

In this season of good cheer, I challenge you to take a moment and turn around.

Look behind you. Forget about your carbon footprint for a moment and consider something a little less carnal. After all, a plane doesn’t carry “bodies on board,” but souls.

How have you left those souls in your path? Consider the footprint of the most successful people in our industry. One thing they have in common is that they focus on the positive. Some of life’s most horrific events build into story lines with glorious endings.

One person’s story can change everything. Our magazine is full of them.