One of the legends in the Neely household growing up about me is that I was always complaining to my parents that I wanted to live in a neighborhood. One of the main reasons I wanted to live in a neighborhood in high school was because my friends did, but also because during the summer, I always had to do training and that training was running. I wanted to be able to walk out my front door and just run and walk back into my house.
Because of where my parents live, I had to drive to find trails and places where I could complete my training. Now, my husband and I do live in a neighborhood. The dogs and I greeted kids for Halloween and there are frequently sales people on Saturday mornings who ring the bell, drive the dogs crazy, and try to sell us something. I have to admit, I love it!
This weekend we were moving a lawnmower out of the car and our new neighbor walked over and asked if we needed some help. I though to myself, this is just exactly what I imagined it would be like to have neighbors. So, of course I baked a banana bread the next day and walked it over to our neighbor’s house to say thank you. It’s a wonderful story about being kind to your neighbors, but if I’m honest with myself, it took me a year to even talk to our neighbors.
I was so caught up in our lives and our hectic weekly schedule that I almost didn’t notice the people who were living right beside me. In fact, I missed that another one of our neighbors had a baby. It takes practice to turn on your noticing eyes and see and hear the people who are around you, whether they are your neighbors or your co-workers or even your family. For me, I am hoping that I have learned something from the experiences I had this weekend and can actually tune into the needs both physical and spiritual of the people I encounter.
Now, we can’t do it perfectly, but the little hello or stop on your walk or run with your dogs to learn a little more about someone’s life says you are important; you are someone. No matter who you are, we all need that reminder every once and awhile.