Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who is my neighbor?

I am blessed to have wonderful neighbors. When we have been sick they have jumped at the chance to help us; mowing the yard, raking leaves, checking in on us...
We chat over the fence, across the street, on the sidewalk and even in the Walmart when we bump into one another.
Over the years the kindnesses have stacked up like cordwood.
I try to pay them back when I can, I always thank them hoping they know how truly grateful I am for their assistance.
Today I got a chance to pay it forward.
It was the Universe working it out for me.
In my "mid-winter purge the house of clutter" mode, I posted that I magazines for free on the Freecycle blog. I almost instantly got a hit. The person asked if I would mind dropping them off as they were home with a sick child. I emailed back and said sure. So I headed out about dusk to a not so savory part of town. I wasn't worried, having lived in NYC 11 years, there aren't many parts of this town that scare me.
But when I arrived the person who met me to get the magazines was amazed that I showed up.
"We can't even get pizza delivered here!" he exclaimed, marveling that I would show up laden with National Geographics, Smithsonians and Readers Digests...
"Aren't you scared?" he asked.
"No, I'm a social worker, I have clients down here" I said, "I'm here a lot"
When I got home, there was an email thanking me for my kindness. It made my day. I got to share some of my favorite magazines with someone who appreciated them and I hopefully got rid of a stereotype too...
I realized my neighbors don't just live on my street. They live all throughout the city. We just have to make a connection.

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