Neighborly Love?

I want to know what is wrong with people.

Are we so connected online that we’ve stopped connecting in person?

Is our “Me” culture so pervasive that we simply don’t care about each other anymore?

Today, my son learned to crawl. And along with the crawling, he began to get into things. I followed him around, working to finalize the baby-proofing that I’d already begun. Going after the cat? Baby redirected. Air freshener? Removed from the wall.

But this evening, as I was preparing his dinner, Menininho apparently got into something I hadn’t anticipated. I set him down to eat and he began to scream. Checking his mouth, I saw a rounded white object in his throat (the doorstop cover?) and tried my best to sweep it out, but it disappeared. Next, I flipped him over and hit his back, but nothing came out. He kept screaming and I was frantic. I ran out my door and screamed to the neighbors for help. I pounded on my neighbor’s door so hard my knuckle bled.

My neighbors were home, but no one would answer. One neighbor stuck his head out the door, then closed it. They ignored my hysterical baby and me, even though we were begging for help.

Luckily, I snapped back and realized that as long as Menininho was screaming, his airway wasn’t obstructed (duh), and called the pediatrician. When she called back, she decided that based on my description of the object (ended up not being the doorstop cover and I have no idea what it could have been) that it wasn’t something that would show up on an x-ray and should pass easily on its own. Whew.

But I want to know: How can you ignore your own neighbor’s plea for help?

Last night, my husband was on his way to Target with Menininho when he witnessed an accident farther up the highway. The offending driver took off, and no one stopped to help the man who was hit, even though his trunk was now his backseat. Mark pulled over, checked on him, called the police, and didn’t leave until he was sure the man was alright.

And who hasn’t heard about the attack that took place here in California last week, where 20 teenagers watched one of their own classmates be brutally assaulted? No one called 911 for over 2 hours.

Now, I’m certainly not trying to paint a bleak picture of the world. There is still a lot of goodness all around. But when things like this happen, as little (tonight) or as large (the terrible assault) as they may be, we need to take a moment to reflect.

Are we aware of those around us?
Are we willing to help our neighbors, to aid strangers in distress?
Are we teaching our children to be active and responsible citizens?

If not, we need to be.



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8 responses to “Neighborly Love?

  1. The incident in California broke my heart. As a fellow resident, I couldn’t help but ask some of the same questions that you did.

    I too believe that there is still good in the world, but I am worried that it is becoming harder to find.

  2. I can’t believe that your neighbors didn’t answer the door! That is so awful!!! Especially if you’ve lived there a while and they know you and know that you’re not some nut job running around the apartment complex. When boyfriend and I moved into our place I made it a point to introduce ourselves to the close neighbors and bring our dog so if she ran away they would know who she belonged to.

    I agree that there is too much rudeness in this world and that we all need to learn some compassion again!

    • Yep, my husband, son, and I have been living here almost a year and Menininho and I stopped over when our neighbors moved in and introduced ourselves and welcomed them to the neighborhood.

  3. Weird! I was recently just talking to someone about how I used to feel like we’re in a world filled with mostly wonderful people and a few crazy dark bad people, but more and more lately I’m wondering if some of us kind people just got tossed into a world that is filled with evil ones?? Seriously…what is WRONG with people!

    And is baby okay!?!

  4. How awful that your neighbours didn’t open the door. Ugh…

  5. I worry about this with my youngest. She’d much rather text a friend or go on Facebook than speak to them! But of course, then she turns the argument back at me…I’m a blogger, after all, and I spend quite a bit of time online. Happy Halloween, galfriend!

    One Quarter to Go ‘Til Halftime

  6. That’s absolutely terrible that no one would help you. I don’t know why people are like that. How could you live with yourself knowing that you could’ve helped someone, but chose to walk away? I don’t get it. It’s scary.

    I’m glad your baby was ok. That had to be pretty terrifying. My husband is a EMT/ fire chief, so he’s always handy to have around!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  7. Hi Maya – I’m catching up on my blog reading after a long hiatus. The troubling situation you recall here is one I think about often. I know that many people fear to “become involved” or to risk embarrassing themselves or other nonsense but as someone who has more than once desperately needed the help of a stranger (and a few times been the stranger that offered assistance) I am teaching my daughter to err on the side of compassion and support to her fellow beings – both human and animal. I’m so glad that your little man is safe.

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