"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Being Neighborly

Not every charitable deed has to be a big one. In fact, it's the little things we do throughout the year that can really make a difference. We started today with something small, but with potentially big rewards for our neighborhood.

Mr. B has lived on this street for more than 20 years. I've lived here ever since we got married more than a decade ago. We've always gotten along with our neighbors. We know each other's kids and pets and even frequent visitors. Still, none has ever asked us to watch after their homes and pets while they're away - until this week.

The project:
Tending the neighbor's pets, bringing in the mail, taking out the trash and recycling, watching the house.

15 minutes each day (if we take time out to PET the cats)
25 minutes on trash/recycle day

Why bother:
Helping out those who live within shouting distance sure makes city life feel more friendly, safer, more enjoyable. It gives me the feelings my neighbors trust me, and thereby instills a bit more trust in them.

Worth it?
Absolutely worth the fraction of the day we're dedicating. The girls have enjoyed collecting mail, petting someone else's cats, and the excitement of a chore in someone ELSE'S yard. In the short term, they have peace of mind that their home is being tended to. In the long term, we've built a stronger relationship with our neighbors, and perhaps they'll reciprocate should the need arise in future.

1 comment:

  1. I think your "spirit" of helping others is rubbing off on me. It is so much fun helping others and you just wonder why some folks are so lazy and self-centered that they can't see past their own noses.
    1/05/2009 11:05 AM


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