Neighbors and Friends

Posted on 8/13/2010 2:36:00 PM

by Ken Bartels, Sr. Vice President


Sometimes adversity brings us closer to our neighbors.


I often hear people comment that “we don’t know our neighbors like we did when we were growing up” and “we live next door but we don’t talk”.  I understand what they mean, that it is difficult in our hectic times (when weren’t they, by the way?) to stay up to speed with family, close friends, work, sports and other commitments AND get to know your neighbors.
I also clearly understand that some neighbors do have close relationships and have shared good times and bad for many, many years.  The point, though, is that sometimes, even with the best intentions, we can’t get to everything OR everybody.
That brings me to the aftermath of our very wet, stormy, hot and humid summer.  We all saw and have read all about the mighty rains, the flooding, the damages to material things, minds and spirits.  I have experienced a flooded home, a totaled auto, the loss of valuable things and things of value.  It is very tough to handle and to cope.  We have been witnesses to life-changing events for people who live in our City.
But, we have also been witnesses to other events related to this difficult summer…and we all saw the same things.  I saw neighbors helping neighbors.  They moved furniture.  They hooked up pumps.  They made sand bags.  They ran extension cords.  They unclogged drains.  They checked up on each other.  They shared their experiences.  They voiced their anger, frustrations and questions.  They cried and even joked together.  Neighbors, in neighborhoods, brought closer because of similar circumstances.
Now, I can’t be sure of this, but my belief is that when things get back to normal (when were they, by the way?) these neighbors with these new, joint, memories have a real chance at being friends.  Maybe, they already are.
Another aftermath…but a really good one.