Welcome to this week’s Grateful Heart Monday entry, which for today is for two people who’ve offered me kind words in my neighborhood for the ongoing efforts I’ve made to keep the streets and a number of yards clean, especially in light of some harsh criticism I received recently from another neighbor who took her own life’s anger out on me one morning.
As I’ve written about this a few times in my blog prior, I focus much of my angst in life over all my health issues and pains by maintaining a clean and manicured yard that includes both of my neighbors on either side of me. This summer, with nature having been quite strange where it’s been like fall throughout much of it, with many leaves dropping daily, leaving our street littered with debris on most days, I’ve included maintaining much of that as well. It’s become a ritual now of sots with me waking up each morning and going outside to clean it all up, going as far as 200 feet in either direction of my driveway, which is the length of the two electrical cords I use when connected together. I always feel better after completing this task and enjoy the look of a nicely swept street afterwards.
Recently, when a neighbor yelled at me over a pile of debris I had created across the street from her, most of which had emanated from trees around her property and curb, I really got upset, especially because I have kept her curb cleaned the entire summer. At that very moment, my ego almost got the best of me. I was about to give my daily task up over her negativity, but instead, chose to focus on the kindness of two neighborhood gentlemen who approached me separately recently, thanking me for my outdoor work.
The first came one day when I was deep in my work sweeping up a section of the street with a push broom about four houses away from my own. A car pulled up and inside was Scott who told me he really wished he could take some of the taxpayer’s money and send it to me for the great job I do for the city every day on our street. It meant the world to me to hear this at that moment and I felt totally energized afterwards, knowing that someone appreciated my work.
The second came as I was vacuuming up the leaves from a neighbor’s driveway one afternoon. David, the cousin of my neighbor across the street, walked over, put his hand out and shook my own, saying he wished he had a neighbor like me. He said my work never goes unnoticed by him and how much it’s a pleasure to come down our street and see how clean it is, as well as the yards around my home.
What Scott and David didn’t know was how much their words not only helped me to keep doing this task, but also to keep going in life, because lately it seems like there has been a vast shortage of kindness in this world, especially in my own life. I’ve seen so much negativity and criticism over the slightest of things, almost as if people are walking around like ticking time bombs, waiting for someone to lash out at.
That’s why I believe kind words go a long way, and Scott and David’s definitely did that for me. So, thank you Scott and David, for making my day on two separate occasions, for helping to temporarily overcome my own angst in life, especially when an angry neighbor yells at me for no reason. It’s because of both of your kindness, that I have found the energy to keep going for yet another day…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson