This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Being a good neighbor at my Grandma's house

One of the best lessons that I ever learned about being a good neighbor was mowing the grass at my Grandma's house. It went like this:

There wasn't a fence dividing her yard from the house west of hers. Grandma's property ended in an *invisible line*, which is as far as she was obliged to mow the yard. It was actually pretty easy to figure out. You just looked at her house, and the house next to it, and it was easy to see where that center line was. But here is the point - instead of mowing to where we knew the center line was, she always had us do one more pass.

Ever since then I've seen people who are always doing just the bare minimum that they can. They are the people who always know just how much they can get away with, and just how little they can do. They know exactly how many absences they are allowed in school, how much sick time they can take before they get fired. They know how many parking tickets they can get before their car gets towed. They know how late they can play loud music, or how early. They are always looking at authority figures, and arguing that they had done the right thing. And when I meet these people, sometimes I wish that they had learned to mow the grass at my Grandma's house.

It was a good early lesson for me. An old-fashioned idea - doing a little bit more, as the bare minimum. Thank you, Grandma!
Post a Comment