Who Are Your Neighbors?

Jul 17, 2017

One cold November morning, I watched from our kitchen as tractor after tractor drove up our driveway. Pick-up trucks pulling wagons followed. About 12 neighboring farmers were coming to harvest our corn, because my father was ill and could not work in the fields that fall.

My father did not ask for their help. The neighbors knew about his health problems, and they just organized the rescue harvest on their own. Without their caring, our crop -- and our income for the entire year -- would have been lost.

I still have a black-and white photo of all the farmers standing and smiling in front of their pickers. It seemed so natural, like, of course they would help a neighbor in need.

The days of borrowing a cup of sugar are gone in most neighborhoods. We now have “code enforcement officers” we can call when a neighbor’s grass is too tall or their car is up on bricks too long while they put in new brakes.

Now I belong to an on-line network of neighbors called “Next Door.” Most of the members I really have never spoken to, nor would I recognize them if I saw them in the grocery store.

Today a neighbor coming to the aid of another neighbor earns a spot on the 10 o’clock news.

I suggest getting to know your neighbors. Know their names, and the names of their kids. Learn their story and share yours.

Neighbors aren’t strangers who live next door; they’re friends who happen to live on your block and in your building.

Neighbors are what make a community a home.

I am Dan Kenney, and that is my perspective.