Recently, Tall Guy and Three Speed have spent a lot of time “dog sitting” for our neighbors. This couple moved in several years ago, and became our best neighborhood friends. I hope everyone has a neighbor or friend like this. I have had several over the years. They are the kind of folks you can call any time you need help with something. They’ll be there. They’ll call if they need something, too.
For example: We have worked out a sharing arrangement with the riding mower. It belongs to the neighbor. He lets us use it. My kids mow both lawns. We buy gas (most of the time). I feed and water the human kids. They keep the canine kids out of the way when the mower is running.
The husband helped chop up our tree that fell over in a bad storm a couple of years ago. He kept some of the wood for his woodworking. We boxed up a bunch of it and took it to a little old lady (she’s in her 80’s) down the street who heats mostly with wood. It saves her fuel bills, and is community service for the kids.
I can remember babysitting for neighbors over the years. We would house sit, water plants, walk dogs, mow lawns, take in mail and newspapers, and many other little things that needed to be done. If someone was sick or in the hospital, dinners would magically appear. The same thing happened after births or deaths. The neighborhood took over the kitchen so Mom didn’t have to do the dishes, either.
It’s the little kindnesses like these that are missing these days. We seem to have disconnected from each other gradually. The “Me Generation” puts themselves first. They don’t think about the effect of what they do on others.
How hard is it to open a door for someone who is coming in behind you? Especially if this person is elderly, has difficulty walking, is dealing with small children or carrying lots of things? Does it really take any longer to say “Please”, “Thank You”, or “You’re Welcome”? Does it hurt to say “Sir” or “Ma’am”?
I know these are “old fashioned”. But I sure get lots of smiles from them every day. Respect others and see what you get back. It doesn’t always work, but it just might make some other people’s days more pleasant. Who knows what might happen if we all did it? :-)