I really enjoyed the recent letter about compassion (“Use suffering to develop empathy”); it’s a favorite theme of the Dalai Lama, one of the most enlightened men of our time. Along with compassion goes consideration; these two virtues can change the minds of men and women. In the world today we are all frustrated by events over which we have no control; endless violence, corruption, greed. The reality is that most of these events touch relatively few of us, which is why they continue … we don’t tend to act until it hits close to home.
Our quality of life, or lack thereof, is based on our personal living situation; jobs, family, neighborhood. This letter is to remind all of us about the consequences and effects our actions have on others around us. Most of us live in some sort of neighborhood, often times in houses separated by just a few feet. Our actions, conversations, are apparent to our closest neighbors. Take a minute to reflect on your neighbor. Are they retired; do they have small children who go to bed early; do they work the night shift and sleep during the day? Then take a minute to reflect … do I go to work and leave my dog outside where he barks constantly? Do I have a diesel truck that I warm up early in the morning for 15 minutes waking people? Do I rev my motorcycle in an obnoxious manner? Do I mow, weed-whack. and leafblow at 9 p.m. because it’s still light enough to see? Do I light off fireworks even though I know it’s illegal?
Most neighbors are vested in where they live and are reluctant to say anything for fear of causing ill-feelings. By the same token, I believe that most people truly want to be a good neighbor and will promptly address any concerns within reason. Of course, we all know that no matter where you live there will always be that one neighbor who doesn’t care. Don’t be that neighbor … care about where you live and the people around you; you may need them. Pick up the garbage in the street … keep your place looking nice… be friendly and helpful … do the right thing … speak up if something’s not right. Be considerate! Your neighborhood … it’s one place you can do something about!