Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings


Who is my neighbor?

Posted by Sue Badeau on November 16, 2015 at 5:10 PM

Sweet little newborn, skin as soft as dew on the petal of lily-of-the-valley: you are my neighbor

Children laughing, playing, crying, hungry, thirsty, bleeding, reading, running, sleeping, staring with vacant eyes, traumatized, acting out, acting in, acting up, falling down - precious little one; you are my neighbor

Young man with your pants slung too low, your music too loud for my taste, a hoodie shielding your eyes and your heart, please hear me: you are my neighbor. Young girl with the tatts and scars – please know, you are my neighbor

All you mothers, all you fathers. Grandpas and oomas and nanna’s and pops: When you kiss your little one at night with a hope and a prayer for a better tomorrow, when you say Je t’aime, te amo, ich liebe dich, nakupenda, xushm aweit, Ami tomake bhalobashi, te dua, Bon sro lanh oon – you, you too are my neighbor

Hard working men, women, working the land, healing the sick, starting the fires, stopping the fires, teaching the children, burying the dead – you are my neighbor

Confused, depressed, hearing the voices I don’t hear, you, walking without shoes, you, yes, you – you are my neighbor

Running like the wind, rolling by in your wheelchair, seeing with your fingers, hearing with your hands. With all your strength and frailty you are my neighbor

Building walls, building fences, behind bars, hurdling over bars sojourning near and far – you are my neighbor

Old woman with wrinkled skin, gnarled hands, aching feet: you are my neighbor

Brother, sister, stranger, alien, cousin, friend – you are my neighbor

Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Atheist, peace-maker, peace-breaker - lover of the sea and the sky, hunter, fisherman - you are my neighbor

You, you who live in Philadelphia and Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii, Alaska and Alabama, Maine and Minnesota, Syria, Paris, Kenya, Mexico, Lebanon, Cambodia, Japan, Sudan, Iraq, Switzerland, Germany, India, El Salvador, China and you who live nowhere, hiding, running, praying you will have a home one day – you, too, are my neighbor.

May I always be a good neighbor to you. With grace, humility and love, may it be so.



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