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THE WAY THINGS ARE

by Joan Bachman
Neighbors with snow blowers (or shovels) demonstrate how the world should work. Just do something for someone who can’t. Thank God for John. I had only the step to shovel this morning. When I thank John for his work, he insists it’s not work but something he enjoys and is thankful to be able to do. If each of us took the time to help a neighbor, this nation would run more smoothly than it does.

There are several ways I can help a neighbor that fit into my personal abilities and interests. The “neighbor” doesn’t have to live next door, but just be within my realm of notice. My helping is almost never a physical act but is more apt to include my time and pen and paper. The first step is paying attention to the people I encounter and recognizing how we could accomplish something good by joining forces. This working together also allows each of us to understand different perspectives on a variety of topics, increasing mutual benefit from the encounter.

Neighborliness doesn’t seem to hit the papers as often as hate-speech and noisy people demonstrating against something. At the present time, I am much concerned about what is happening in America. It seems that if we could quit fighting against something and instead concentrate on striving for a common goal through neighborliness we might actually jump over inaction and stalemates. Re-directed energy can make quite a difference.

I’m reading The Soul of America by Jon Meacham. Not a fast read, but educational and enlightening. It’s somewhat comforting to read that the country has survived several highly disruptive times in past years. Politics seems to be dirty business. Reported reaction of the American public to past political promises and actions may have been similar to present times. We either just sit and listen and wait or complain and shout against what is happening rather than to let our elected officials know what outcomes we are for – to define what outcomes we want. Over the past 12 months, I have tried to be intentional about contacting Senators and Representatives with my concerns and preferences. They can’t read my mind.

The volatility of our current state of affairs appears to be inflamed by pronouncements, stated intentions, and marches. There is too little visible “neighborliness” that might calm emotions. A friend’s Facebook post encouraged prayer for our country daily at 8pm CST. I decided to set my phone alarm to prompt me to join this effort. This daily prayer has made me search for thoughts and words that petition for the country rather than what I am against. More easily said than done!

I will continue to look for ways to show that I am for neighborliness and encourage you to do the same. Maybe our little contributions can calm the waters in our own parts of the world.

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.

Comments


donna Lund

Joan, Good writing this day. I am like John, I like doing something for someone else. I have knit 20 scarves since Jan 2018...and remember that I feel and was not doing much of anything for a long times. All the girls, granddaughters have new scarves to keep them warm...even the little ones. Take care and be warm.

Pagyn

Thanks Joan. I liked your definition of neighbor as to being within the realm of your notice. A new way for me to think of neighbor.

LINDA M HASSELSTROM

Thanks, Joan-- you touched on something I was just thinking, so I quoted you in my recent blog https://windbreakhouse.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/neighborliness/

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