No Disaster, but Still Your Neighbor

By Silver Rose

No Disaster, but Still Your Neighbor

You cannot watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing of disasters. I avoid watching the news or reading a newspaper because I purposely don’t focus on negativity. However, I’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know about the tsunami, the floods and mudslides from recent rains, and the earthquake in Iran, to name just a few.

It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of aid during such times. We generously reach into our hearts and our pockets to help those who have been hurt so badly. I think it’s wonderful.

What’s unfortunate is that it takes a disaster to move us enough to forget our petty problems and be good neighbors. News reporters have to tell us who needs help when, if we simply opened our eyes and looked around, we’d see those in need every day.
I recently heard a story about a man in a wheelchair who sat at a bus stop in a large city. Eight buses stopped and couldn’t take him on board because their wheelchair lifts were broken! It’s hard for me to believe that there weren’t four strong people on each of those buses who could have lifted the chair on and off to help their neighbor get to where he needed to go.

The Law of Attraction says, “You attract more of what you focus on.” How about focusing on being a good neighbor?

It doesn’t take a lot of work. Being a good neighbor shows up in many small ways:
· Smiling at people who pass you on the street. Better still, saying, “Hello.”
· Waving to the policemen in the car passing by or the firefighters in their trucks.
· Learning the name of your postal carrier and greeting her when she delivers your mail.
· In a restaurant, asking the server’s name and then using it when you personally thank him for providing good service.

Your co-workers are your neighbors. How do you treat them? One of my bad habits, for example, is to launch right into a work-related conversation without taking a moment to say, “Hello. How’s your day so far?” How many of us are so focused on getting the job done that we forget our manners?

Are you on time for meetings with your co-workers? That’s part of being a good neighbor.

If a co-worker has a death in the family or is ill, do you take the time to send a card or make a phone call to offer help, or do you assume someone else is helping out? What if everyone in the world assumed that others would help the tsunami victims?

How much trash do you step over every day? Keeping the break room clean at work is being a good neighbor. Picking up paper from the floor is, too. How about making sure office supplies get replaced when you use them up?

Offering to help someone whose workload keeps them at work after hours is being a good neighbor. I know people who would help their next door neighbors dig out from a snow storm but wouldn’t lift a finger to help a co-worker dig out from a load of paperwork that threatens to bury him. We think, “It’s none of my business,” or “Hey, I’ve got my own problems to worry about here.”

What can you do today to begin to be a good neighbor? How would you treat your co-workers if a disaster hit? Would you make sure everyone was safe and unhurt? Why not do that today, with no disaster in sight? There are people around you who are fearful and others who are hurt in ways invisible to the naked eye. Take some time to notice. People always want to know someone cares enough to make the effort.