These nice people used to live next door. They lived there for two years. Tony remembered the husband’s name. He spoke to them more often than I did through the screen of butterfly bush blossoms and in the winter when snow blanketed the ground. One day I wanted to invite the wife and daughter to my tea party.
I forgot her name. She knew mine and called me by it often, but I had forgotten her name. How do you address an invitation when you don’t remember her name? “Hey you,” seems crass. Or perhaps, “Dear (sorry, forgot your name),” also seems cold. She remembered my name. We remembered each other on some Christmases by exchanging plates of cookies.
That neighbor moved out over a year ago now and I wish I had taken the time to remember her name. A name is important. The fact we take the time to remember their name says more than a card or an invitation to a tea. It says, “I care.”
So this Christmas I challenge you to learn your neighbor’s name. You won’t be alone in the struggle. If America went back to it’s values, no neighbor would be a stranger. To change a culture, we need to teach our children in actions and words what it means to love someone.
What’s your neighbor’s name (first names only) and how did you come to know them?