Friday, December 14, 2007

So, there is this thing going on over at this other blog where people are calling names (ugly names) because some people have the nerve to light a fire and display the Christmas lights (the neighbors) while some other people who live across the street (the bloggers) have no power. I've been thinking about it here for several hours.

At first I thought the name-callers were especially rude people to begrudge others. The Christmas lights are not keeping anyone else from having power, and it really isn't against any moral code to have a fire in the fireplace on a cold, icy day. Nor is it morally wrong to open one's door allowing others to see one's warm fire. It is a pitiful state of affairs that some are sitting in the cold, staring out their windows with anger in their hearts because they see someone else is better off.

And then I thought, well, yes, really those with power should be over knocking on the door and inviting the cold neighbors to join them by the fire for some hot soup or cocoa. That would be the neighborly thing to do. So...maybe they are jerks.

Of course, in our neighborhood I could feel free to walk across the street and ask to come in because I've fostered relationships with my neighbors over the years. If they failed to invite me, I would consider it a simple oversight and I would invite myself. I'm guessing the bloggers who call neighbors ugly names have probably not fostered such perhaps they are just reaping what they have (not) sown.

So then my mind wandered to the question, "How much should we forego because others have less." Where I live, homeless people walk by my house everyday. Perhaps I should not hang Christmas lights out of deference to their plight? Is that what they would desire? Would it make life more cheerful for them? Would it help them out of their situation if I conserved the energy it takes to power 1000 tiny lights?

Do bloggers who call their neighbors ugly names defer to others in this way? When they get power, will they celebrate by lighting the festive lights that line their roof, announcing to the world that their power is finally restored? Or will they wait till all the people in the city, state (or world) have power?

Dwayne, who I know to be a good and kind man, suggested they might want to quit whining and ask their neighbors to borrow some electricity through an extension cord (as Dwayne is doing). The bloggers who call their neighbors ugly names have commenters who now accuse Dwayne of concocting a story and basically being the same kind of ugly person as the bloggers' neighbors.

Which is helpful.

I'm beginning to think these people are without a place to stay during these hard times because they are bitter and cruel.

Still, maybe it is a good idea for all of us to turn out the Christmas lights until this catastrophe is over. When OG&E announces that power to the state is fully restored, we could all turn on our Christmas lights to celebrate. It would actually be kinda neat, don't you think?

And, even if your neighbors are the jealous sort, perhaps you should invite them over for the evening to warm up - if not for the night. It pays to be neighborly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point you make about being neighborly is of supreme importance; reap what you sow. I also have great friendships with my neighbors and could ask just about anything of them (and would give in return). Turn on the lights so that they might enjoy your glow...

10:28 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger C.Potts said...

One of the most critical lessons I ever learned is that I can never be poor enough to make anyone else rich, nor sick enough to make them well, hungry enough to feed them, nor scared enough to make them feel safe.

Relationships with neighbors are tricky things: proximity doesn't always mean affinity. I think the trick is to be as nice as possible, but even then, someone can take it all wrong.

9:02 AM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Ornery's Wife said...

This was a great post. I can't imagine anyone being so petty as to begrudge a neighbor power. When thousands in Tulsa were without last week and ours never went off, I was never abused because of my good fortune! Everyone just commented on how lucky we were. I said, "yes, we are very blessed." It is sad that so many people don't know or trust their neighbors, but our society doesn't really foster trust any more.

Thanks for sharing this.

2:50 PM, December 23, 2007  

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