Today was a day I reminded myself how absolutely thankful I am living far and away from much of the strife that is going on in some of the bigger cities these days. In spite of the three to four months of sometimes nasty weather, and many of the extras that I find myself doing to keep soft landings happening in my business, I’m still happy to be living in Mason City, Iowa. Knowing full well how so many of the basic amenities we have here and consider them a given, there are hundreds and possibly thousands of communities that don’t offer the level of comforts we have at our disposal. Yes, we have our problems, but I believe there is an on-going effort with our city government to curtail the degradation of our community’s social fiber.
There are few, if no neighborhoods here where one would be afraid to walk during the day and likely only a few at night. Whenever I hear people complaining about their real estate taxes being higher, I’m quick to say I’d be willing to pay more to make sure our city is being protected against the dark forces of criminal minds.
I was on my soapbox today with a young gentleman who was speaking about purchasing a home in a middle income neighborhood. I told him one of the first things I would do when the opportunities arise, is to introduce myself to the close-by neighbors simply to let them know I’m new to the neighborhood and give a short introduction about myself. I’m not saying people should be horning into the lives of others, but to simply let neighbors know that if there were a circumstance that called for assistance, that I’d be there to help. I have reminded some of my dear elderly friends that it’s good to have neighbors that are helpful, but to be sure and thank them for even the smallest acts of kindness. Several years ago an elderly friend mentioned that his neighbor freely took it upon himself to shovel a large portion of his walk without asking. This went on all winter and one day we happened upon the subject and I asked him, “Did you do something nice for your neighbor who shoveled most of your walk all winter?” He gave me a sort of “deer in the headlights” look and said, “Why no. Was I supposed to?” I shook my finger at him and said, “None of us should ever consider ourselves entitled.” I think he got the message because several weeks later he said he delivered his neighbor a thank you note with some money in it for his extended acts of kindness. With the ice broken, they became more close neighbors and I believe they are both all the better for it. If we could take this example of two neighbors living in a micro form of community and expand the idea city wide, can you imagine how much more safe and sound our community would be? Strong threads wrapped together become ropes that hold our anchors in place even in the strongest of discordant winds.
With the snow falling heavily today and driving from showing to showing, I found myself following deep pre-packed isles of snowflakes. I’m sure the plows will be busy early tomorrow making way for safe travels to family gatherings.