Won't You Do My Neighbor?
It snowed in ABQ last Friday. I usually have every Friday off in winter, so I didn't worry about getting to work. Still, I woke up at my usual time and went outside to shovel off our driveway and sidewalks. (I didn't beat one dog walker, darn it! It's always tougher to shovel off compacted footyprints -- and your little dog, too!)
I also shoveled the front walk for our next door neighbor, who is unable to do it himself. (The snow usually melts by the end of the day, but our country is so litigious, it's better to head off a lawsuit than to expect people to be careful how they walk in winter.) Before I could finish my good deed & escape, my neighbor's sister (who picks up his daily paper and takes out his trash & recycling every week) caught me and was effusive with her thanks. (She was on the verge of tears.) She asked if I wanted anything for my effort, and I replied, "No, thanks. This is just what neighbors do."
Well, it used to be what neighbors do. When I was growing up, one of my older brothers & other neighborhood boys would walk the neighborhood, asking neighbors if they wanted their driveways shoveled, and picking up some pocket money at the same time. Does that happen now? Absolutely not.
My mother is a senior citizen. She has been widowed for ten years. I've lived with her for just two years. Do you think anyone rang her doorbell and asked if she wanted them to shovel for her? That's a big, fat no. Whatever happened to kids trying to make a bit of money? Whatever happened to helping your neighbors? Whatever happened to doing unto others?