“There’s no such thing as someone else’s war.”
This is a line from a song sung by Jason Isbell, an Alabama born songwriter, who I’ve been listening to lately.
So much is grounded in that statement. Who knew eight words could hold so much weight?
I say this because I’ve had personal experience with the sentiment lately.
On the little corner of the world where I live, much is happening. There are good times and there are hard times just the same, but it’s the only neighborhood I’ve lived in where people still rely on each other. It feels like a slice of the past, honestly.
When you’re sawing down tree limbs, your neighbor comes over to help you haul them out.
No matter how many times your neighbor’s trash container gets overturned by the wind, you stop to pick it up.
When you need a shoulder to lean on in the middle of the night, your neighbor will answer the call.
When you can’t get your car out of the mud, a new face stops by to pull you out.
And when the children down the street have no where to go, you take them in and feed them.
In such a large world, it can be easy to feel as if we are facing all of our battles alone. That feeling leads us into the temptation to believe that we need focus solely on our own trials and tribulations. Or, at least, that’s the way life can make me feel.
There are lots of national issues going on lately can instill the feeling in us as well as we watch the news and talk amongst each other: immigration, health care, the economy, racial tensions, the list goes on. We all want to make sure the world works for us first and doesn’t leave us out in the cold.
In times like these, I try to remember that though this country is thousands of miles from coast to coast, it’s simply made up of neighborhoods just like mine. One giant collection of folks just trying to get by.
For the people on my block, we fight our battles together. Even if we can’t offer each other the chance to change the world, sometimes all it takes is a someone to listen at the end of the day—just a small kindness on an even smaller street.
A bit of understanding and—here’s the important part—empathy go a long way.
We need to do what we can to help each other succeed. I hope our nation can come together and do the same. Our progress as a society is dependent on it.
As they say, high tide lifts all boats.
Or, in Isbell’s words, “We’re all carrying one great burden, sharing one fate.”
Reach Matt Moran at 580-482-1221, ext. 2071 or email@example.com.