Not In My Backyard…
The voice on the other end of the phone was familiar and tinged with a bit of anxiety. I knew who she was and months after burying her husband, the concern was familiar. “I know you asked me to call you if I needed anything, and I need help.” she said. “Do you know anyone who can mow my lawn? The grass is out of control!”
It is a familiar call and the type I get more than you would think. It seems our world has become so connected that while we have become so worldly in our awareness of the disasters and misfortunes around the globe, we have somehow lost awareness to the smaller scale needs of our neighbors, those in our own backyards. For example, I am sure this widow’s neighbors knew of the Las Vegas shooting. But when it came to this new widow, those same neighbors were completely unaware of the apparent lawn issues she was having.
It is said that we are on information overload today. In fact, there is more information in just one edition of The Wall Street Journal than a peasant in Medieval times was exposed to during his or her entire life! Maybe it is time we become less worldly and more neighborly. As we take time to live, laugh and love, let us not forget that needs exist close to home as well. And in the process, we just may find that the 24/7 news outlets and social media will never be a substitute for the handshake, hug and gratitude of a real person in the flesh.
As for the widow, I knew exactly what to do. I threw my lawnmower into my truck and headed her way thinking “Not in my backyard…”