How Warm Gestures Brought Together a Cold Neighborhood
(Minghui.org) In 2009, I moved into a new residential complex. All the apartments are very large and spacious, and the building even had its own garden – a marker of a neighborhood for the rich and powerful.
Though the environment was very nice, this complex had one major flaw: its residents had never seemed to get along with each other.
The Angry Man on the Second Floor
My apartment is located near the very top of the building. I had it renovated before I moved in, which was inevitably disruptive to my neighbors. In order to speed up the renovation, my workers tried to use a more powerful tool that made a lot of noise.
One day, the man from the second floor rushed into my apartment and grabbed one of the workers by the collar, yelling angrily.
“Do you know that my wife has heart disease?” he demanded. “She can't stand the ruckus you guys make. If I hear any more noise from you during the day, I'll beat you until you're disabled! ”
The workers then called me to tell me what happened. When I went over to the complex, the woman who lived on the third floor came up and told me that the aggressive man was the owner of a concrete factory. Since he had money, he thought that he could throw his weight around. He had apparently threatened other workers who worked on the apartments as well.
Nonetheless, I asked my workers to keep the noise level down.
“It is our fault if we disturb others during quiet hours. Please don't do it again. I will apologize to him the next time I see him.”
The woman from the third floor disagreed with my decision; she argued that it would be useless and that the best solution was to avoid him.
Over the next few days, I saw that what the woman said proved to be true. Whenever I saw the man on the second floor, he always looked cranky and pretended to not see me. Luckily, his wife was a more caring person who accepted my apology. She also felt bad that her husband had overreacted.
The Turning Point
One evening when my husband and I were taking a walk around the residential area, we witnessed a car accident. The Mercedes-Benz owned by the man on the second floor was badly scratched by another car. The driver of that car, who was visibly drunk, lived in a building nearby.
Although I planned to tell the man on the second floor what had happened, my husband disagreed because he thought the man was rude, inconsiderate, and often went to extremes in dealing with situations. He believed that this was a good opportunity to teach the man a lesson.
However, by the way the man he looked at his car, I could tell how much he loved it. The Mercedes-Benz was very expensive; repairing it would be costly. Thus, I went to his home and told him exactly what happened.
The man was very appreciative, and his attitude towards me changed since then.
Of course, this was not the only thing that made him mellow out. There were many other tiny little things. Once, when he left his key in his door, I reminded him to take it. More often than not, he would park in front of my garage, so my daughter and I would always knock on his door and politely ask him to move his car. Sometimes, when I passed by his door and saw his garbage bags piled up, I would always help him carry some to the dumpster.
As time went on, all these small gestures gradually melted down the barrier between our families. Currently, the man not only greets us when he sees us, but he also chats with us. Once, when no one was at our home, he even helped us sign for an express package.
The Woman on the Third Floor
The woman on the third floor always felt awkward around the neighbors, as she was ashamed that her husband was jailed for corruption. In the beginning, she tried to greet the man on the second floor, but the man always ignored her. Later on, she decided to avoid him completely.
There were often salesmen who came to distribute fliers door to door. If someone didn't bother to remove the fliers, the fliers would start to accumulate and anyone who passed by would think that nobody was home. This can cause safety concerns, as burglars may target houses that they think are vacant.
This woman noticed that after I moved into this building, I always helped her remove her extra fliers. She expressed her appreciation and thanks.
The Woman on the First Floor
One day at noon, the woman who lived on the first floor came to my apartment. She was my elementary school classmate. Although we knew that we lived in the same building, we barely saw each other.
So I was very surprised when she stopped by. She complained that the pipe in her apartment was leaking and added that the plumber suspected the problem was caused by my solar energy system. I showed her my solar control panel and inspection and said that nothing was wrong.
However, she still called people to go onto the roof to check. They verified that my my solar energy system had no correlation to her leaking pipe problem.
Later, her pipe leaked again. Every time this happened, she would come up to my apartment and insist that it was my solar energy system that caused the problem.
After her last complaint, I had to turn off my solar energy system for her to figure out what the problem was. A few days later, when we met again, I asked if she'd solved the problem.
“Yes, I found out the source the problem,” she said. “It wasn't your solar energy system at all. Sorry, I forgot to tell you.”
By that time, I had already turned off my solar energy system for three days and was still waiting for her confirmation. She was very apologetic.
The next day, when she ran into my daughter, she gave my daughter a whole basket full of fresh vegetables. She also gave my daughter a wedding gift. Later on, when her son got married, I also gave him a wedding gift.
Gradually, through these kind actions, we all became good neighbors who looked out for each other.