Why We Do These Things

Typical small town street. Image public domain via WikiMedia Commons.

Typical small town street. Image public domain via WikiMedia Commons.

Richard Nelson is 81. He is a widower, a veteran and my neighbor.

We went away for a few days. We returned unexpectedly late in the night. We were in our house less than 15 minutes when the phone rang. It was Richard.

“Who is this?” he asked when I answered.

He was calling because he thought we were out of town and saw lights on at an unusual time. He knew troublemakers don’t answer the phone, so he called to see if he should call police.

The next day, I took Richard some applecrisp and homemade jelly to thank him for being such a good neighbor. Alarm companies have nothing over this man!

Why do people look out for others? Why do we care if our neighbor is in trouble?

Because it is the right thing to do. Because we want someone to care for us, and we understand these things to be reciprocal. Because that inner voice we all have sometimes speaks loudly to tell us we are all connected in our humanity. We are all neighbors. We are all family.

When was the last time you did something kind for someone just because you could? Look out your window and ask yourself, “Who can I reach out to, and how can I encourage them to pass it on?”

Richard looks out his window all the time. I will always look out for him.

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This entry was posted in Human Spirit, Solidarity, Veterans and tagged , , , , on by .

About MNgranny

An activist since the age of 17, MNgranny embraced the Occupy Movement from its beginning. After earning a BA in Mass Communications and enjoying a 30 year career, she is now disabled and dedicates her life to changing the world for the next generation. Her experiences include volunteering in community service organizations and taking leadership roles throughout her academic and professional life. She is also a survivor of rape and domestic violence, a published author and a master naturalist. She has focused for the last several years on studying Middle East geopolitical impacts, and specializes in Kurdish history, culture and politics.

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