I live in a snooty part of Boston. It used to not be so snooty, but as the times have changed it become an area for those making $100,000+ more a year. There are a few of us “old timers” left. I have been here most of my life. It used to be a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, had parties and invited the neighbors, brought pie to the newbies. It’s not anymore. I am lucky if I even know the person’s name who lives across the street from me. No one helps one another. No one cares. Everyone keeps to themselves and minds their business. It’s sad really. I am sure there are places around Boston and Massachusetts that is comprised of tight knit communities, but for the most part—I notice people really don’t care about one another like they did 15 or 20 years ago. It’s become a selfish society. As I heard one man say on a plane once, after refusing to help an elderly passenger get their luggage from the overhead compartment, “its every man for himself nowadays.”
Of course living in New England when we get a snow storm—we get a SNOW STORM. We recently were blessed (I say this snarkingly) with two feet of snow. We live in a large 12 room Victorian located on top of a huge hill. This in turn gives us a massively long driveway and a very long set of stairs to get to the house. Our snow blower first 1. Blew a tire….which we were able to fix and then 2. Ran out of gas which we again remedied and lastly….3. Blew a spark plug. Which left us SOL and having to shovel the entire driveway, steps and sidewalks. Not an easy task for two people….one of which was getting over a nasty virus and the other who had a small injury.
Naturally we had some local teens come by that wanted to charge $60 to help dig out. And then some neighbors that would be willing to help if compensation was involved. How neighborly? Is this really the society we have created? Where people won’t do things without something in return? Shit. We would have all died if we were still cavemen! The good of the one for the good of the many obviously doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s the good of the many with good for the money.
Anyhow, whilst I was shoveling our sidewalks, two children about the age of 8 came by. They are our neighbor’s children. So cute.
“You can go inside, we can finish this.”
My mouth dropped. When I was 8 and had a school day I sure as shit was not in the mood to help shovel. But here were these cute kids with a day off, shovels in hand, ready to work out! I told them we could work as a team—because things are better when you work together as a team. And so they helped me shovel….and before I could thank them they went off to someone else’s house to help. Shortly later, their siblings came back and helped us finish the other side of the house.
Just because. Not asking for money, not asking for anything in return. They had a day off from school and here were these 8 year olds just helping because they wanted to. It was pure genuine kindness at the root and it amazed me. They just wanted to help.
If there are more kids like that living in the world right now—and if they are not jaded by the time they are 15 and society hasn’t molded them into money grubbing “work for the man” kind of people—then I really think there is hope for society. I really think if more children grow up into adults with the attitude those kids had today—then the real essence of what community is all about will return.
We decided that we would give their parent some money so they could give them a pizza party for being such great helpers—and hopefully someday—great pillars of a community.