Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Compassion

When we moved out to Western Albemarle about two years ago, I was most excited about having my own four walls.  We were buying a house with its very own garage, driveway, and fenced backyard.  It was so freeing and exciting to come home to something that was ours.

What I didn't fully realize was that we were moving into a real neighborhood, a community.  Even though nobody shares walls or addresses, people are invested in others.  They reach out and say hello.  They offer to help.  They share in life's celebrations and misfortunes.  They invite others to participate in community events.  When we lived in our townhouse, I don't think we even knew the names of the people that we shared walls, staircases, and parking spaces with.

Today, a fire nearly destroyed a family's home in our neighborhood.  Thankfully, nobody was injured but their two cats didn't survive.  From the minute the fire trucks arrived, neighbors were on e-mail asking for donations and arranging help for the family in need.  Jeff and I donated some of our emergency cash to the family, people we don't know and haven't met, because we knew that our community would do the same for us.  When I dropped off the donation there were 3 other families there doing the same thing; giving cash and toiletries and offering their own homes as a place of refuge.  It truly warms my heart that there are such selfless and caring people living around us.

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