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Posts from the ‘Loving Your Neighbor’ Category

Somebody left an anonymous gift for me – I hope I never find out who did it

A few years ago, I moved to a window office at work and sent an email around letting everyone know I had relocated. In the email, I jokingly invited everyone to come by for a “tour” of the new space and apologized that I didn’t have any hors d’oeuvres for my guests.

Well, I didn’t have hors d’oeuvres yet. Read more

The unforgettable reason a dog named Spooky was saved

My friend Ann was driving through the cemetery in the blazing heat one summer afternoon and her heart was heavy with grief. Her father had died four months before and nothing could shake her of the sense of loss – until suddenly, there was an interruption. Read more

Feeling drained by a relationship? Try this.

Several years ago, I made friends with a guy who volunteered at the same organization as me. He seemed like he wanted to be good friends, but he didn’t act like much of one.

Sometimes he passive aggressively insulted me; other times he flattered me. He could be aloof, and then he could be clingy. But I stuck around because we had known each other for a while, and I felt like I owed it to him. Read more

Lessons learned from running through the airport with a Christmas ham

It was Christmas Day of 2002 and I boarded a flight to Milwaukee with a ham as a carry-on. The ham was a gift from my mom to my ham-loving brother.

The ham was in a box, which I put in the overhead compartment next to my bag, and then waited to take off. Unfortunately, though, we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes, raising the risk of me missing my connecting flight in Detroit. Read more

Thanksgiving as a kid — a day without shame

For a period of time in third grade, I cringed when it came time to pay for my lunch — there wasn’t enough money for us to pay for it.

I felt humiliated by getting free lunch. I had seen kids walk up to the lunch lady without handing her any change and I had looked down on them. Now I was one of those kids. Read more

What happened when I said “thank you” to an unpopular cop

One time, I met a D.C. traffic-directing cop in the line at the mall and I remarked how dangerous her job was.

“I mean, people in D.C. drive so crazy,” I said. “You could get killed.”

“Oh no,” she said, “don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for the people in parking enforcement. They get screamed at, spat on, cursed out – you name it. It’s horrible.” Read more

What happened the sixth time I went to the principal’s office

When I was in third grade, I had problems behaving. My heart was in the right place, but my good intentions didn’t make it to the surface a lot of the time. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to follow the rules. Read more

Something to consider the next time you get annoyed with someone

I was standing across the counter from the lady at the hole-in-the-wall dry cleaners and I was getting irritated. She had lost my pants and I was sure of it, but I couldn’t find my ticket to prove it.

The woman kept insisting that I hadn’t dropped them off with my suit jacket. Read more

This lady had no idea she was about to be an answer to my desperate prayer

I was a poor law student living on $300 a month, and as soon as I saw the police cars down the road, I instinctively put my foot on the break. I couldn’t afford a ticket.

It was just a police checkpoint though. I slowed down, stopped beside the officer, and handed him my driver’s license. He furrowed his brow. Read more

A schoolteacher showed me what love looks like

It was 1988 in Petal, Mississippi, and I was in love. My third-grade student teacher, Ms. Smith, had stolen my heart.

Ms. Smith was pretty, with her long brown hair and that tiny ponytail on the top of her head that poofed up. But it was more than her looks that made me swoon — Ms. Smith likedme. That wasn’t always the case with my teachers, and for good reason. Read more