Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen my neighbors do some things that they consider nothing, but for me it’s really something! We had gone out of town Wednesday morning and forgot about our trash cans that we had put out that morning. They were going to have to sit there until Friday and that worried us a little. However, when we returned home, our trash cans were gone--or so we thought. Our neighbors (and none of them owned up to it) had returned our cans to their usual place inside the fence.
It was Saturday about mid-morning when my phone rang. It was one of my long-time neighbors and she asked me to go to another neighbor (a young single professional that literally had moved in less than a month earlier) and let her know that her dogs were loose. Here's the thing: my long-time neighbor wasn't upset or bothered about taking time out of her day to round up these dogs. She and her husband were in their truck, blocks away, when they recognized the dogs and didn’t think twice; they just tried to catch them! By the time my new neighbor got her shoes on and we arrived three blocks away, there were two other groups of neighbors who had stopped and helped rangle the dogs. Now, that's really community!
Last week I volunteered at a school not located in my neighborhood, for a spring fundraiser. This school has been on the closure chopping block several times, but what I saw there was amazing. Let me just say I wasn't the only volunteer there with no connection to the school - folks had stepped up to do behind-the-scenes work with no personal vested interest in the fundraiser's success. And, the businesses all around donated for their silent auction and then also participated. The email I got this morning said they raised nearly $10,000. That's real difference making!
Each person and business contributed something, whether it was in a small way or in a large way, to make a difference. Every deed is important. We live in an amazing city where community is valued. We have the ability to continue making it even more amazing by those little decisions to go out of our way, and out of our comfort zone, just enough to help someone else.
Let’s take an active interest in our community. It can be delivering a meal, keeping an eye on a home for a neighbor who’s away, mowing the lawn for someone who can’t, coordinate a block party or simply saying hi to your neighbor and asking how they are. Let’s get to know our neighbors! Continue to do something nice for someone, put someone else first, and just be considerate. You never know what it might mean to that person, and it’s infectious! Seeing someone doing something nice inspires me to do the same.
So, next time you think that little help you give a neighbor feels like nothing - I think it’s really something! And, as my grandmother used to say, someone's always watching. THANKS for inspiring me!