Sometimes Doc and I watch old reruns of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS. It is both comforting and reminds us the importance of being a good neighbor. I once heard him say ” Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered , as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. ” Doc and I are lucky in that we have very kind neighbors that watch out for us. A perfect example of this was during the recent ice and snow storm that we had last week when the smallest of our neighbors showed up to lend a hand.
For those of you that experienced the storm that stretched over 1,000 miles last week then you know we were pounded with rain that turned to ice and then was followed by 7 inches of snow in our area. This lasted for almost two days. Luckily, we did not loose power and Doc and I were able to work remotely on Thursday and Friday so we were safe and warm, but that still left us with a dilemma. How on earth would we get down the driveway and the the snow covered road to the pet store? I was getting low on dog treats to the point that I was starting to panic. This could become an emergency. Luckily, just when I though I would have to hitch myself to a sled and pull Doc to the store, I heard the sweet sound of the city snow plow coming down the road and soon after the musical hum of the neighbors snow blower in our driveway. Hallelujah! I know Doc was relieved because that snow would have been tough to remove with just the snow shovel.
Now that we knew that the road was clear, Doc started getting ready to go to the store. While waiting for her, I suddenly heard the sound of some children giggling outside in the front of our house, so I did a low bark to alert Doc. “Who’s out there Grover? ” she asked while going toward the front door. When she opened the door there were the three children from next door. With three shovels in hand they were diligently chipping away at the ice and snow on the front walk and the steps, laughing like this was the most fun they could have on their snow day off from school. ” Oh my, ” Doc said with surprise. ” How nice of you to shovel everything, that really helps me out. I guess your hard work calls for some home made chocolate chip cookies.” They all nodded in agreement and told Doc they were happy to help and would love some of her cookies.
Later on, when Doc remarked to the children’s father how nice it was that his kids had shoveled the walk, she was surprised by his reply. ” Well of course they should do that, you are our neighbor.” And there you go, this is a perfect example of how children learn by example and how teaching them the importance of helping others when they are young will leave a lifetime impression.
Later on in the evening after we got home from the store and I was enjoying one of my dog treats by the fire and I thought about Mr. Rogers again. What happened today was just the kind of thing that he thought was important, caring for your neighbor. In fact, Doc says that we should act neighborly to everyone because we are all connected in some way. There are ample opportunities that present themselves everyday where we can lend a hand or say a kind word to someone. Not only will you be helping someone but it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. After all, kindness is contagious. So pass it on.