Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Helping a Neighbor

     As I was running through town this morning, on the way to the high school track for a workout, I noticed a house that had an accumulation of newspapers sitting at the end of the driveway near the street.  There were probably 5 or 6 different papers, looking somewhat yellowed in clear plastic sleeves, as if they may have been there for some time.  My first reaction when I went by was that the family must be on vacation and had not arranged to stop the deliveries nor had contacted a neighbor to take care of retrieving the papers.  We've had a rash of home burglaries in our town lately and I know that a bunch of newspapers piled at the foot of a driveway is a good clue for people that no one is home.  I decided that I would swing by later and if the papers were still there, I'd pick them up.
     Several hours later, as I was out doing an errand, I drove by to check on the house.  Sure enough, the papers were still sitting there.  After pulling into their driveway, I went ahead and gathered all the papers and brought them to the side of the house, leaving them by the garage doors, out of view from the street.  I'll make a point to go by again in another day or two.  If more papers are accumulating, I'll also let the local police know to check in on the house.
     This is one of those places where I notice a big difference in my mindset as a result of this project.  In the past, I'm sure I wouldn't have gone out of my way to address this situation, given that I don't know these people at all.  Now though, I'm much more aware of the opportunity to address any need that I see, regardless of whether or not I know the people.

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