I have had some excellent people work for me over the years. They were people I would like to have as neighbors around my home. They did things to help, often without my asking.
They were people I could trust. One of these instances of trust resulted from my needing to look into the desk of an employee when that person was gone for the day. What I saw is that the person had written themselves a note, “I owe Jay 2 stamps.”
I would have given the person the two stamps. The dollar value was not the issue. The integrity, the good neighbor mentality of this worker, was what I had a chance to observe that day.
Around my home, I have neighbors I would trust in my home in my absence. They are people who have had the keys to my home when my family and I traveled.
I have a neighbor who fertilizes my lawn. I am not sure why. He does a good job. Sometimes he might mention that he just fertilized my lawn, but rarely and he only does so if he and I are outside talking for a while.
For over 20 years, I would come home from work on Tuesday evening and would find my garbage cans moved from the street where they had been for City trash collection and would be sitting at the gate to my backyard.
Between my driveway and the front yard of one of my neighbors I planted a mow strip of grass. My neighbor has a rock bed. The water from my watering my mow strip sprays over into my neighbor’s rock bed and the water makes the weeds grow. So I have always made it a point to try to get to the weeds and pull them out before he could get to them. On another occasion, I pruned this neighbor’s pear tree and mended about twenty feet of fence along our property line.
However, it was twenty years before I realized that the neighbor with the rock bed had been putting my trash cans up at the top of the driveway. He still does this little favor for me.
Another neighbor shares the property line on the opposite side of the rock bed and mow strip. I have found that he and I make a great team picking pears. He has a ten-foot ladder and I have an extension pruner. Together or separately we get to the pear tree and pick the pears and then share what we pull down.
So I am lucky. In different ways my neighbors and I share little projects beyond our property lines. The experience is extraordinary. I feel as though I am part of something, a piece that makes a puzzle whole. I like being a good neighbor, and I like having good neighbors.