lisa-blog

Lisa Durden

Newark, NJ, USA

Reflective

Tough City, Kind Neighbor

“But Lisa stepped back and learned to accept this newfound notion of kindness being given to her and came to expect it. It was a great feeling and she began working on giving back to others.”

When Lisa first moved into the neighborhood in 1994, her neighbor James was very friendly. So much so that he was always helping her around the house, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and more! Sounds great, right? But something seemed a bit off for Lisa. Why was this man being kind to a stranger? What did he want in return?

Whenever James would do something kind for Lisa, she would return the favor by buying him a thank you gift to show her appreciation. But James’ kindness was so fast and constant that Lisa couldn’t keep up and had a meltdown. One day, Lisa came home and just let it all out. She yelled out loud asking her mother what James’ problem was and why he keeps helping. She wondered, “What does he want from me?” and “Why is he always helping me?”

After taking a few moments to calm down, Lisa’s mother looked at her and simply said, “Lisa, James doesn’t want anything from you. Some people do nice things because that’s who they are.” For Lisa, the notion of being kind just to be kind had never crossed her mind. While her mother had grown up in the South in a neighborhood where kindness was common, Lisa grew up in a big city and said she learned from birth, “you don’t get something, for nothing!”

quote-openBut Lisa stepped back and learned to accept this newfound notion of kindness being given to her and came to expect it. It was a great feeling and she began working on giving back to others.quote-close

James has since passed away, but for Lisa, the lasting memories of his kindness continue to live on through her own acts of kindness.

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