We moved into this neighborhood 14 years ago. Long gone are my hopes to create life-long friendships for myself and my children. These days, all I am looking for is a sense of community. Sadly, I haven’t seen much of that lately. Maybe I expect too much from people.
We have to pay for garbage pickup in our town. I know families who have hit hard times and have suspended their garbage service. They have opted for dump runs or other means of garbage disposal. One day, I saw the garbage truck drive past a neighbor’s home without picking up their trash. I knew that meant that they must have missed a payment. Immediately, my husband ran outside and grabbed as much trash from their cans as he could and pushed it down into ours. Although, we couldn’t fit it all, we were happy to help out so that they would be able to keep up with their trash in the coming weeks. They have no idea that we did this for them, and I am not looking for repayment or recognition. If it was us who had missed a payment, I hope that someone would help us out.
The next time you see a trash can overflowing or a lawn that is not well maintained, ask if your neighbor needs help before your criticize, or worse, talk behind their backs. Maybe, money is tight and offering to take one bag of garbage would help lessen their stress. Their lawn mower may be broken or they might not be able to afford their landscaper anymore. If you have a teenager at home, he could offer to cut their grass for $10. If their mower is broken, and you are handy, offer to help fix it or lend them yours until they can get theirs in working order.
My goal for this summer is to make this neighborhood a brighter place. I want to surprise a neighbor with fresh baked cookies for no reason. I plan on teaching my children to do good deeds for those around them. If we see a neighbor struggling, I want to reach out and offer a helping hand. Maybe, if I take the first step, others will follow in suit.