We live in a world filled with hatred, greed, violence, racism, injustice, and casual sex, all things the Lord opposes, so why are we shocked when He brings devastation and death? It’s kind of expected, isn’t it, for challenging Him? Still, we are. We have already surrendered to the biases, injustice and selfishness of this world. Violence and death have crept into every aspect of our lives, from video games, movies, and television, to the classroom, daily news, and the neighbor next door, and it’s becoming the norm. We keep to ourselves as much as possible, but that is only making the matter worse. It damages our social skills and any eloquent way of speaking up against injustice so people will listen and take action. We avoid getting involved in activities that will put us in with other people. We even hate going to parent teacher conferences because it takes us out of our comfort zone and puts us in an area known for violence. We’re afraid, and this fear is crippling us.
Deep down, we know there has got to be a better way to live. One where violence is minimal and people actually care about each other. Well there is, but it is going to take a lot to get back to that point, and it will not be easy. What we need to do is change the way we think. There is no reason why we have to be self-centered and self-absorbed about every little thing. In a perfect world, we, as a people, would be more concerned about the other person and their needs than our own. In return, our needs would be taken care of because others would be doing the same for us. I am not talking about government involvement or socialism. I’m just suggesting a step up in community activity.
There is so much we can do to make this happen. Let’s start in our own neighborhoods. There is the neighbor in a wheel chair who feels forgotten; the widow down the road who is lonely; the teen across the street who feels unappreciated; the elderly man 3 doors down who needs help cleaning house and cutting grass; the unemployed mother across the alley who can’t find work; or, the family on the corner who does not have enough food for the week. We can make a difference, but we need to get involved! Start by knowing who your neighbors are and their individual needs. Think about it, if we all kept tabs on the needs of others there would be less violence and more caring people in the world.
People are generally good! Those that are not may have been hurt by someone and just don’t trust anymore. Then again, they could be up to no good too, but you won’t know unless you get involved. You can help the hurt ones by showing that you care and being there if they need something. The other ones, you should be cautious about and report any odd behavior to the police, and any neighborhood association you might have. Maybe you will be the one who finds a rapist, robber, or abused child held against their will, all because you were familiar with your neighbors.
Getting started is as easy as saying hello when you see them in the yard, at the store, or at a block party or cookout. I once met my neighbors for the first time 1400 miles away at a Taco Johns when we were on vacation. We sat in the restaurant together for a good hour laughing and talking. Don’t put hundreds of miles between you and your neighbor before you realize they are special and want to call them friend. Say hello now!