We are watching 2 extra kids and 2 dogs today. They are all absolutely wonderful, good friends of J and G and family friends of ours. As a community member and friendly neighbor, it’s more than my responsibility to share in the labor. Responsibility tends to feel like a burden and this isn’t what this feels like. It’s my role in the system and community we live in. There will always be times when I need assistance from those around me, assistance from my system. Child care, dog care, an extra lemon, or a ride to the airport all seem to be within the “good community member” bounds.
I am here for being a community member and realize that in order to enjoy the community we expect, there is more than kids, dogs, and lemons on the to do list. My responsibilities actually evolve. While at the community playground watching them dig holes, play capture the flag, and pet the dogs, I picked weeds that were growing up through the newly installed grass. While picking weeds one by one I thought, “many hands make light work”. I wasn’t going to pick all the weeds, but I could make a dent. If there were more hands picking weeds, this task might be completed. Yet, living in a community with an HOA, we believe that the responsibility of pesky weeds falls into the maintenance crew. We’ve grown comfortable with thinking that the public spaces, HOA or not, are cleaned up by some magical weeding crew. This isn’t the case, yet nobody burdens themselves with picking a weed or two (to my knowledge) because it is somebody else’s job.
We pass the buck.
“It’s not my job.”
Many excuses, no work. If it’s everybody’s responsibility, nobody is responsible for it. If we always expect someone else to do it, it won’t get done.
It’s not beneath me to pick weeds, lend a lemon, watch a dog, or lather a kid down with sunscreen. It is something I get to do because I want this community, my community to thrive.