“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.”
— Richard Whately
When bacteria was found in one of the reservoirs that feed the west side of the Portland metro area, a robo-call from the water bureau told us that we needed to boil our water.
Upon learning of the situation, my wife Melissa started boiling and I dug out the emergency water I had put away last year. We put signs up on the faucets and the fridge, emptied the ice bucket, and told the kids to not drink water straight from the tap.
It didn’t take long and soon I was in the back yard getting ready to barbecue. At that moment I thought, “Do our neighbors know? Might be worth the trip around the block to find out.”
There was only one neighbor home, a family that we don’t know well. The grocery stores were running out of water fast so I had two of our spare emergency water gallons in hand when I knocked on the door. Because their English is not strong, it took a few minutes and the message was simplified but, with luck, received.
It was just a little information and time, but I’m glad I went. If nothing else, I got to say hello to a “new” neighbor and make a gesture of goodwill.
It’s these type of neighbor-to-neighbor connections that build strong neighborhoods.
Even if the connection is watered down.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Offered a few gallons of water and a little information to a neighbor during a water emergency in our neighborhood.