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Write a note of thanks or congratulations.

5 April 2009 No Comment

Level: Community—Peace Principle: Community

This week’s featured story came in from Lafayette, CA, USA:

U + Me = Peace

Tom has been a neighbor since we moved into our home some 23 years ago. He is a nice man. Age is catching up with him so we see him less often than before. Though we never socialized with him it was easy to stop and speak with him across our properties. His wife taught my son math at the local high school 15 years ago. Our daughter always enjoyed saying “Hi!” to the old man next door.

Two weeks ago Tom had an accident that frightened us all. I was sitting in my dining room and heard a loud crash. After checking out back, the sides of the house, and out front and not discovering the source of the noise, I went back to my work knowing I would find out soon enough but it was not a crisis at the moment.

Five minutes later I heard police cars, fire engines, and ambulances. They were gathering in what sounded like the front of my house. Now we all live on a lovely hillside slope up from the road with a great deal of vegetation that obscures our view in some ways and creates a bit of privacy that is appreciated.

It was clear that something had happened. I would now find out the source of the loud crash. Much to my horror when I reached the road I saw Tom’s car upside down on the road with a neighbor bent down talking to someone inside. I took a deep breath knowing my fears were real. Tom had accidentally put his car in reverse and driven backwards off his very high driveway, flipping over onto the road.

At that very moment, as I watched him lie helplessly within his car, my relationship to him changed. I became aware of how much I appreciated him as a neighbor, for his daily concern for my family and his careful eye on our property when we were gone from home. He was the one who first noticed a water main break on our property and took the time to let us know. He fed our cats when we were gone a little too late or a little too long.

Gratefully, Tom survived his ordeal and is up and around on crutches until all the bumps and bruises are gone. He does seem older than before–or maybe I am just paying more attention. When he returned home from the hospital we made a point of telling him how glad we were he was ok and back in the neighborhood. We thanked him for being there for us as a good neighbor.

Where once we took him for granted we are now grateful and appreciate him. We realize how much this neighbor is part of our life. Thank you, Tom.

- M Kay Robinson, Lafayette, CA, USA

This week’s featured story came in from Madison, WI, USA:

Our church recently had an interfaith, intergenerational peace fair. It was my pleasure to write thank you notes to some of the speakers. I wrote one note to a Quaker couple who took turns telling stories about different nonviolent protests through time and all over the world. The second note was to a Viet Nam vet who has now joined Veterans for Peace and he has written a book called “Long Shadows: Veterans Paths to Peace.” He and a filmmaker did a very moving joint presentation. The third note went to a facilitator of nonviolent communication, using Marshall Rosenberg’s principles.

- Carole Ayres, Madison, WI, USA

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