Random Acts of Kindness in Town
Many people in town treat each other with a lot of politeness and respect. Some neighbors also get along great and some others do not. Many neighborhoods also have their “neighbor from Hades.”
Sometimes simple events actually have a way of changing these things in an unexpected way.
Three years ago, some neighbors in town were fighting as neighbors often do. The fights had gone on for decades with a lot of extreme actions taken by both sides. They just didn’t get along at all.
Various local, state and federal agencies had been contacted by the offended neighbor in order to put the other annoying neighbor “out of business.” The annoying neighbor wasn’t exactly a saint either. The annoying neighbor had a home business that might actually qualify them as the “neighbor from Hades.” Things didn’t change much until one particularly nasty winter.
It was easy to remember that particularly nasty winter, because the annoying neighbor had a drafty bay window in the living room where the cats usually slept. The draft was so bad that the plants and curtains swayed in the frigid breeze…not so good at all for the heating bill. Even the cats left.
The old reliable duct tape trick was even failing as the main window just kept dropping in its dry-rotted frame. The displeased expressions and comments of the spouse were beginning to take their toll. There was one problem, however, with replacing the bay window easily – Money!
The various quotes for the new bay window replacement ranged from $5-$6 thousand. Yikes!
This is where fate stepped in and provided a solution. Because the winter was nasty and snowy, the offended neighbor had slipped on the ice and badly broke their foot requiring much surgery and many months of absolutely staying off the casted foot. That was not so good for an active person.
The offended neighbor’s wife and daughter valiantly tried to shovel the snow off the big driveway so that they could get to work, but it was a job for a big snow blower which they couldn’t run.
The annoying neighbor saw their plight and snow blew the snow off the driveway for the rest of the winter…no charge. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time…sort of a “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” moment. That wasn’t the end of the story, however.
In the spring, the formally offended neighbor (a carpenter), unsolicited, offered to install the not so annoying neighbor’s bay window (bought at wholesale cost) free-of-charge and saving them several thousands of dollars. Needless to say, the neighborhood dynamic is much, much better.
Perhaps the moral of the story is that “random acts of kindness” can transform even the world.
What would be possible in our world if everyone tried to be a little kinder to each other…to see the world through another’s eyes…to “reach out” to someone in an unexpected way?
Would that help create a better “you and me world; a world that works for everyone, with no one or nothing left out?” It is time for the “New Year’s Resolutions.” Let’s get busy with one…now!
What do you say that we give it a try? What have we got to lose…the current world wide mess?
By Ivan Beliveau - 30 December 2011