Yesterday would have been my folks’ 58th wedding anniversary. I remember as a kid in the early 70’s, sister Michele and I (ages 5 and 7) went over to a neighbor’s house (Mrs. Noble) and forced her to make a cake for my parents. I remembered this fondly until now – that was kind of cheeky and assuming of us to ask. I’m sure we didn’t pay her. Thank God for extremely nice neighbors.*
I was in Arizona this weekend, and we were having a discussion about neighborly small towns. You have to be so guarded anymore in the big cities and airports, but regardless of what we like to claim regarding how the “world has changed for all of us”, small town Iowa is still amazingly safe and caring. Years ago, I remember Micki saying that her daughter Rilley was concerned that there was a car at my house because I was on vacation. (I like to think she went over and looked in the windows and clearly checked, I’m not sure of this fact, but I like to believe this.) When we are concerned about our local family, we strengthen the bonds of our communities.
Taking this message to our place of work, if we find or are concerned about the small things (even if they don’t pertain to our specific jobs) we are just acting naturally, it’s who we are. I really don’t think we necessarily have to advertise the message of being neighborly. However, whether it’s walking in a parade, or picking up a piece of garbage, or walking a customer to where they need to go … or tidying up a reception area – again, this is who we are. We are nice folk who bake cakes for kids.
Celebrate your small town compassion by doing something for someone – just because. (Thanks Mrs. Noble!)
*if anyone has spare rhubarb and wants to be neighborly …