Yesterday I met a woman of 79 years old who tended to the needs of a beautiful home and yard. My purpose for being there was to respond to a complaint of overgrown natural growth at a property next to hers. It turned out that the property did get cleaned up and this woman allowed me to view the progress from her yard.
As we spoke she talked about the neighbors getting together to help other’s out in the neighborhood who may be going through tough times to help them keep up with the job of property maintenance. She said she couldn’t even find a young man who would be interested in helping her maintain her own property even at a decent salary of 13.00 per hour. She wondered where the real men have gone.
This moment in time brought me back to another moment in time as a child. Up until the age of around 11 I distinctly remember going around the neighborhood with my Great Grandfather cutting lawns and doing small maintenance jobs to help out the neighbors who were getting up in age. As a retired man he spent a great deal of time taking care of his own property and when he ran out of work to do he would volunteer his work to others. I never knew him as a young man and don’t know if he was able to do the same for others while raising a family and working 8 hours each day but understood that helping other’s was important to him.
He would awaken at the same time each morning and get to work around the house at the same time each day. Then he would break for lunch at exactly 12:00 each afternoon only to return to work at 1:00. As I think about it I feel that he was probably mimicking the work schedule he once had during a time before retirement.
Pop Pop took what he knew and his time to a level of service to others after retirement and I knew that it brought him great joy. He had something in his heart that seemed to simply want to help others. This is the same spirit that I believe exists in all of us though sometimes it doesn’t seem like there is enough time in our own lives to reach out to others. What I learned from being a part of Pop Pop’s life was that just spending about 30 minutes each week to complete a task for someone who may not be capable to completing it themselves is more valuable than money. This man I called Pop Pop passed away one day in his sleep but left behind some important lesson’s in life that I carry with me always.
The question I pose here is there someone in my neighborhood that needs just a little help as they may be struggling with illness or simply finding the time to get things done because they are working two jobs while raising small children? What difference would it make if we all found just 30-60 minutes out of each week to reach out to someone in need? I have attained many skills throughout my life and am capable of many things. Is there a service I could bring to another out of the simple responsibility of not just living in a community but also servicing the community I live in?
We all love receiving a gift at times, but what brings more joy to my heart is that of giving a gift to others.