Won’t you be my neighbor?


Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

For as long as time has ticked, the concept of being neighborly has made the world go round. Neighbors built communities. They defined what it meant that it takes a village to raise a child. Neighbors kept houses fed, fires burning and the corn harvested.

Living in small town America, living in Franklin, we were some of the last places in the country to still see the benefit of a true neighbor; the person across the way you can borrow sugar from. The person that sees a light still burning in the house when you’re out of town and calls to let you know. When neighbors were a dying breed everywhere else, when neighbors were becoming strangers, here in Franklin, we fought to hold on to the feeling.

Admittedly true neighbors are few and far between now. Sure, there is a hand wave when you pull into the driveway at night, and you can almost count on the house next door letting you know when a tree limb crashes down in your yard while you’re on vacation, but the first names, the extra canned goods, the calling just to catch up, is losing its presence in our society.

While it’s becoming less and less common, it isn’t lost, and for that, we should all be grateful. Last week my editor’s husband had knee surgery. It was the second or third time on the same knee, I guess the phrase you can’t keep a good man down stands pretty dang true for him. While he was sitting at home waiting on the glue to dry, for the few days his wife could badger him enough to keep him slowed down, her neighbor stopped by. She knew my editor was working long days. She knew her husband just had surgery and just wanted to offer a helping neighborly hand. Keeping the garden up and the animals fed, while working and keeping up with the family was difficult for my editor while managing a full time job, and because her neighbor was so in touch with their life, because after all, they are neighbors, she knew help was needed.

She took about a bushel of peaches that were about to go bad, without being asked, just to offer, from my editor and cleaned them and peeled them and brought them back prepared for the freezer. She did what needed to be done to keep the home up while the man of the house was recovering. That is something that shouldn’t be lost. That is something that we need to cling to with every ounce of our being.

We didn’t become the generations of families living in Macon County because we did it on our own. We aren’t thriving or even surviving because we turn our heads as we pull into our driveways. Being in a small town we build each other up. We climb to the tops of the world on each other’s shoulders and when one of us stumbles, or even comes crashing down, we are able to get up, and dust ourselves off, not because we can do it alone, but because our neighbors throw out their hand to pick us up. Don’t forget that. Know your neighbors. Love your neighbors. Because after all, that’s how we got to where we are today.