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What happened to neighbors?

September 30, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

Recently, I was at Jim Wood Park with my family and a few other families while our children played ball. We were enjoying ourselves when a lady came over and asked if she could borrow a cell phone to call her neighbor to help get her car open because her dog was locked inside.

My husband and I went over to see if we could somehow open it for her (there was one slightly opened window.) We were not able to help, so she used our phone to ask her neighbor to help. The neighbor had a key to her house, which amazed me. She told the neighbor where the spare key was and asked her to bring the key as soon as possible. The neighbor was able to come with the key in a timely manner, and my husband and I went back to the game.

Later on that night I thought about the experience and how wonderful it was to be able to help someone. It was a very simple gesture, but I'm sure the lady with the dog was grateful. It dawned on me how unusual it was for a neighbor to have a key to her house ... not that it was a problem, it's just that you don't hear of people really being neighbors like that much anymore.

My reflection did not stop there. I thought about our country and how we are heading into an election year. I have been disappointed with the direction our country had been heading in. What has happened that neighbors aren't as neighborly anymore? Why was I so amazed at the generosity of a neighbor? I guess it's because I realized that our society has become so dependent on the government to help that we don't look to be there for each other or reach out to help like we used to. I don't want the government to take care of my problems. I want good neighbors - how about you? Do you have a neighbor you can call for help, or would you have called the police to help?

Let's be neighbors and let the government take care of only the things we can't do.

Joan Scott


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