How well do you know your neighbors? In case of an emergency, could you call on them or vice versa? I’m happy to say I live in a baby boomer community where we actually know each other. I’m also happy to say our neighborly looking out for one another has been put to the test several times but there was one recent incident that makes me question how far one should go in “looking out” for their neighbor.
Here’s what happened to me: After my neighbor (a baby boomer diva) across the street told me her home had been broken into twice, I made it my business to become a “nosey neighbor” and look for anything suspicious.
One day, I observed an unfamiliar vehicle with temporary tags park in my neighbor’s driveway. The young man who got out of the car had a baseball cap on his head as if to disguise his face and he had a backpack on his back. That was definitely suspicious-looking to me so what did I do? I immediately got on the phone and called the police! Surprisingly, they came right away and I sat at my bedroom window to watch the drama unfold while staying on the phone with the police dispatcher. With guns drawn, two officers ran around the back of my neighbor’s house. To think that I would be responsible for helping to catch a criminal in the act was exciting! Minutes later, the police walked back to their vehicles but there was no suspect. Did he run and leave his car? Did they shoot him? Then the police dispatcher informed me that the person inside the house was actually my neighbor’s grown son.
It had been awhile since I saw him and he obviously had a new car so I didn’t recognized him.
The next time I saw my neighbor, we talked about what happened. Her son was pretty scared over having guns drawn on him. She said she figured I was the one who called the police and she thanked me for keeping a watchful eye. I couldn't help thinking what would've happened had the outcome been different.
OK…so there is a moral and lesson from this story. First, it’s good to be a “watch dog” for your neighbors but stereotyping people can get innocent people seriously hurt or even killed.