Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor


    On any given day, I correspond with roughly fifteen to twenty people on the internet. I get emails from a variety of friends and family, some of whom I have not seen in person for decades. This past summer I chatted instantly with a daughter in Ireland and a sister in Tanzania. I have a soft spot in my heart for the readers of this blog, many of whom I have never met, yet consider as my friends.

    Truly the internet is a magical “place.”  Aside from the invention of the printing press, I would venture to say that the internet has changed the way we communicate more than any other invention. We don’t have to wait weeks after someone gets home from Europe for them to process their slides and invite us over for a travelogue; we can see their photos online that same day. News doesn’t arrive by letter two weeks after the fact anymore; we get it in an email as it’s happening. Don’t want to fork over money to the newspaper boy when he comes collecting? Just hop on the paper’s website instead.

    And yet…I wonder.

    Do we have all these conveniences at a price?

    Yesterday, a friend told us that our next door neighbor had been killed in a horrific workplace accident. A young man got up, went to work, and never came home. One moment he was working on a piece of machinery and in an instant he was dead.

    None of us get up in the morning knowing that this day is the end of the line. We’ve all been admonished over and over to live each day as if it was our last, and yet most days go by in a blur. We focus on trivia and leave the important things undone. We get our news online instead of over the back fence.

   What was my response when our friend told us of our next door neighbor’s death?

    “What was his name?”

6 comments:

  1. Oh, Randi...that was such a shock to read and you really made me think about our neighbours, one of which I can never remember the name of. I guess it's time to get the news over the fence.

    My daughter only mentioned about an hour ago that I might not be alive at Christmas, such is the uncertainty of life...she wants me to paint some pictures for the children:)

    You are right...we never wake up thinking this is the end of the line.

    Don't you dare beat yourself up over this tragedy on your doorstep. You're a better neighbour than you perhaps think right now. I know this because of the type of person you are.

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  2. Ken: Your words were a true comfort to me because yes, I have been beating myself up over this. Computer Geek and I had an extended conversation about it, trying to pinpoint which neighbors we can actually name. There were precious few. Paint those pictures, Ken. :)

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  3. Kisatrtle: I'm more resolved to get to know my neighbors now.

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  4. I'm new here love it! Hope you will come visit and follow me too :) Shauna from http://www.trying2staycalm.com

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  5. Shauna: Thank you so much for coming to visit! We hope you come back. I checked out your sites--lots of yummy giveaways-Yay!

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You won't be paid for it, but at least you'll know that you have contributed intelligence to the universe...

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