Neighbors

I had the pleasure last night of being invited to a neighborhood party. Some of you are thinking “so what? We have those all the time where I live”.  But I am going to venture to say that most of us do not know our neighbors. We live our lives next door to people we may have never met, or at the most have seen them outside getting the paper. It was so interesting to meet and on a somewhat superficial level, learn something about the families who live around me. I will also go so far to say that we are so egocentric and pretty much care only about ourselves and our daily lives that it was refreshing to see a little bit of what I remember from growing up.

So, let me take this a bit further. I thought it was great watching and seeing the parents interacting with children other than their own and holding them accountable for their actions — even possibly correcting manners. Maybe I’m out of it, but we live in such a “mind your own business world” that I was encouraged to see people not minding their business and actually caring about each other’s children and their behavior.

I think there needs to be much more of this not minding your own business thing. I’m all for privacy . . . but I think there’s too much privacy out there and zero accountability. I was running the other day and came across two boys playing with their game boys and marking some property with a Sharpie. I stopped and immediately asked them what they were doing. I know, I know your first thought is they might actually lash out, hit me, pull a knife. But that’s exactly what I’m talking about. They actually looked a little surprised, but listened none the less. I explained that what they were doing is wrong but also explained that in this public place, that it was my park too. That if they continue to make it ugly, that others will do the same and then the park isn’t so nice anymore. I think they got it, maybe they didn’t. But, if they think that other parents might stop and hold them accountable, maybe they won’t do it anymore.

So, I say go across your street and meet your neighbors. Get to know the people around you. Care about the children you see who aren’t under a watchful eye. Put yourself out there and stop minding your business. I think the world will be better for it.

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