What is happening to neighborliness? Seems it has gone the way of Internet connections that screech at you when you manually start them up.
Actually, now that I think about it, it was probably the screeching Internet connections that started the demise of neighborliness in the first place.
It used to be you could walk around your neighborhood and stop and chat with any ol’ neighbor who was out and about. Everyone waved at each other. Everyone did things together. Nobody cared who was who. Being a neighbor meant you were someone I, and all the other neighbors, should care about. And would care about. And would take care of.
It used to be that if a moving truck pulled up in your neighborhood, 20 wives hollered to 20 husbands to go help, and an entire army of men would show up to get that sucker unloaded up in a hurry.
It used to be that when a for sale sign came down, everyone in the neighborhood would get together for a going away party.
It used to be that when a new family moved in, goodies, and casseroles, and gifts galore would pile up on the doorstep.
People cared back then.
They cared about who lived around them. They cared about who they shared curbs with. They cared about who would be out sitting on their porches at night, watching them walk by.
Now, it seems like so often, the only thing anyone cares about is who might pop-up on the sex offender app on their phone.
What happened to it all?
God. Neighborliness is disappearing as fast as green Jell-O and carrots.
And I don’t want neighborliness to die. When I see a new neighbor, I still take them a fresh plate of hot gooey cookies, right out of the oven as soon as I can.
When I do, I might as well be standing at their door with a Tommy Gun most of the time. They crack their door open just enough to roughly say, “what?” They think really hard about all the bad reasons I might be there before they open the door. And they finally accept the gift with such hesitancy, as if I surely must have poisoned the goods or something. Then, they get rid of me as quickly as they can. Some don’t even answer the door when I know they’re home. And I have yet to actually know anyone I’ve taken cookies to. It’s getting so old being stared at with that stare that means, why are you here? Nobody does this anymore.
As for me, I live in Safeville, USA. The suburbs. Clean and well kept. Little diversity, unfortunately. The darkest skin in a three mile radius belongs to my half-white son. I haven’t gotten a plate of cookies, or a loaf of banana bread, or even carrot-filled Jell-O in my last three places of residence. Not one neighbor has come just to say hello. Not one neighbor offered to help me move in or move out. Not one neighbor has introduced themselves to me without some agenda. Ever.
I bet they’ve all done their research on their fancy little phones to see if I’m a sexual threat to their kids though.