The last few months, I’ve been involved with starting up a Pagan Outreach Center. Today, we started to set up the office space we’re renting at Village Gate Square. A couple of us made trips to the various homes of people who offered furniture and other items to furnish the office.
One of the things I learned today while helping move heavy furniture is that contrary to what we sometimes think, there are still perfect strangers willing to lend a helping hand. While another volunteer and I were unloading a large and rather heavy display case from the truck, another delivery man walked over and helped us get it unloaded. Then as we were rolling it through the building on our way towards the elevator, we had to go through a closed door. As we were halfway through the door, a shopper passing by offered to hold the door for us to make our job a little easier.
Finally, a shopkeeper near the elevator saw our slow progress. We were moving the display case using a couple of old rollers off a printing press (a moving trick I learned from my father, who actually services such machines). It’s a workable solution — and certainly easier on the back than trying to carry such a heavy piece of furniture — but it makes for slow progress, as you have to stick a roller back under the front of the item you’re moving every six to ten feet. As we went by the one shop, the proprietor saw us and offered us the use of his cart. This more than tripled the speed at which we could finish the move, and both of us were quite thankful.
Each of these events reminded me that our society isn’t quite as filled with the self-absorbed and unhelpful individuals as we sometimes think. In a moment like this, there still are those people who are willing to offer a helping hand like the good neighbor we all wish we had. And it gave me a smile.
Of course, I immediately suggested that we send a thank you card to the shop-owner. (I’d love to send one to the other two a card too, but I have no idea who they were or how to find them again.) It seems that the right thing to do is for us to show that we can be good neighbors and properly show our appreciation for our “neighbor’s” kindness.
This experience certainly has made me feel pretty good about our choice to set up shop at the Village Gate. If everyone there is as friendly and community minded as the people I met today, it should be a great environment. And you can never have too many friends.