I really do!
What does it mean to love thy neighbor? You may have seen signs around Hyattsville that say this. These signs generally refer to the humanitarian crisis our nation and others are facing all over the world. How we treat immigrants is important, no doubt, but the work starts at home.
How we treat the people who live next door or down the street matters, no matter where they are from. All of us need to reach out to the people around us, get to know them, and help them when possible.
Hyattsville, in general, is pretty good at this. The city, and especially the police department, are engaging in community outreach so that everyone in the city feels comfortable reporting problems and being part of the political process. The bulk of the burden is not on the city government, however, it’s on us as citizens. So, what is Hyattsville getting right, and how can we do more?
Hyattsville is full of neighbors serving neighbors. We have two Hy-Swaps a year, many babysitting co-ops, meal trains for new parents, cafes for the homeless, teens shoveling snow and raking leaves, people that make sure Hyattsville kids don’t go without Christmas presents and much much more.
So what more can we do? Now is the time to reach out to those neighbors we may not be friends with. Reach out to those with whom we cannot even communicate well. Why? Because there are still people in Hyattsville who are afraid. Afraid of the government, afraid of the police, or afraid of their neighbors.
Loving your neighbor doesn’t mean loving the ones you get along with or those you agree with. It means seeking out the good in them despite your differences and doing right by them no matter how they have treated you. Look them in the eye and let them know they matter.
Get someone you know who isn’t registered to vote to think about doing so. Take them to a pop-up registration, drop off a form. Or just let them know that their voice counts. Vote. Vote for someone who brings neighbors together, not someone who divides them because of dissent.
So get out there, and love on your neighbor. Hold a door, hold a baby, hold a hand. And Vote.