Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Living like Mr. Rogers

Did you watch Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when you were growing up?  I did and in many ways the lessons stuck with me.

In a nutshell, my take-away from that show was that it is important to take care of people around you...whether you "know" them or not and that life is truly simple and not to be taken for granted.  Not to mention, what's not to love about someone who befriends Henrietta Pussycat?

Where we live is a bit isolated.  It is not uncommon for people to come to our door because they are lost and need directions back to the main road.  This happens more often during the Fall when the "leaf lookers" are out and about, but other times as well.  We have written instructions down for people, showed them how to look on their phone, and been a lead car and driven them back to the highway.  When I first moved here, pre smart phone, I got lost after taking my step-daughter to elementary school.    I drove and drove and drove, feeling more and more lost.  During a final frantic phone call to my husband, he asked where I was and what was around me.  In tears, I responded with, "I don't know, I'm lost.  There's a field of corn on my left and field of soybeans on my right!"  So, I commiserate completely with these directionally challenged individuals.

This past Sunday, we were working in the yard...sweaty, messy hedge trimming/flower bed weeding work.  We looked up to see an older woman come out of the woods and walk to us.  She was lost.  She had left her kids' home with them to go for a hike and was taking her time enjoying the scenery.  Being younger and more agile, they got far ahead of her and she never caught back up with them.  She knew they lived on the lake, but she had no reference point to determine which way to go.  And, she was tired.  And, she had no water.  I went for bottled water while Wes got the car to take her home.  When he got back, he remarked on what an interesting lady she was and how he so enjoyed their conversation during the brief ride to her family's home.

What was gleaned from this encounter?  She was not from this country and mentioned that it took a great deal of courage on her part to approach us to ask for help.  How sad is that?  She shared that, as a child growing up in her country, there was never the fear of approaching your neighbor.  In her words, your neighbor was FAMILY.  Everyone took care of each other without question, but that had changed over the years to the point that people feared/did not talk to or interact with their neighbors and she was saddened to see the same changes happening in this country.  She is right.

While I am the first to admit that I do not interact a lot with my physical address neighbors, but without question if they needed something I would gladly help.  There is no guarantee in life and no promises for anything.  All we can do is try to be the best soul on earth that we can be and love ALL of our neighbors near and far.  It is what we are asked to do above all else...love one another.

Won't you be my neighbor?


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