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The Good Neighbor: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on May 14, 2013

A LOOK BACK IN TIME

I spent twenty-odd years living at 4022 North 18th in Tacoma, Washington. We moved there when I was five, and I finally left home when I was twenty-six after my mother re-married.

During those years I had a wonderful childhood. The other day I was thinking about that neighborhood and I counted, in my mind, eighteen kids that lived within two blocks of our old home, all within five years of each other in age. I was surprised to realize that I could remember every one of their names, and I also could remember every adult neighbor in that immediate area.

On second thought, maybe it isn’t so surprising. It was a close neighborhood. People looked out for each other there, and we barbecued together, chatted over picket fences together, and shared in triumphs and tragedies together.

I can see them all now. At the top of our block was the Mertz family, five kids and Carl and Ethel in a big, old white clapboard home with a giant maple in the front yard. Next to them were the Langdons, then the Conrads and then our home. Across the street were the Harrisons, the Lillies, the Gordons and the Hoffmans. I can enter my mind’s theater and tell you which of those families dried their laundry on a clothesline, what they all did for a living, what kind of car that they drove and if they had pets.

I can tell you about the Norton’s divorce, the death of Mr. Streitz and the house fire that destroyed the Monroe home on a chilly January evening in 1971.

Forty years after leaving that neighborhood, I can see it as if it were yesterday, and still to this day I feel good about my time there. In truth, not once since I left that neighborhood have I felt the same feelings of belonging, and that means, quite frankly, that I have work to do.

The old homestead
The old homestead | Source

FLASH FORWARD TO TODAY

And it is a flash, isn’t it? Look back on the landscape of your lives and I am certain that you feel the same way that I do….how could it all pass by so quickly?

So we flash forward to today, and I find myself in the Northeast Neighborhood of Olympia, Washington, forty years later and thirty miles south of that great neighborhood of my youth.

Do I know all of my neighbors here on Northeast Fir Street? No! In truth I know about half of them.

Do we barbecue together? Once a year at the Neighborhood Street Fair.

Do we chat over fences? Yes, as a matter of fact this is a very friendly neighborhood.

Do we share each other’s triumphs and tragedies? No, there is a guarded distance between us.

What does it all mean? Well, I believe it means we had better get our collective act together. Why?

I believe this nation is in trouble, and I believe that if we are waiting for our government to improve our lives we are fools. I believe strongly that the only way this nation is going to return to a status of greatness is if every citizen decides to become a part of the solution rather than a whining part of the problem.

And I believe this to be true in other nations as well.

No, I do not live in the UK, but I’m willing to bet that their problems are very similar to ours.

No, I do not live in India, but chances are great that they can relate to what I talk about in this essay.

No, I do not live in South Africa, but tell me, all you South Africans, if this does not sound familiar.

We have lost our way as a people.

We have taken wrong turn after wrong turn and now feel the first stages of panic settling in as the landscape looks foreign and we recognize so little of our country.

Fear, once a result of watching too many horror movies, is now an insidious part of our daily lives.

Distrust, once reserved for insurance salesmen and lawyers, is now the default setting of our emotional computer.

Hope, the guiding light that has illuminated the darkened paths of civilization since the beginning of time, is now waning.

And yes love, the most important thing in life, is in short supply and rationed out like food stamps for the starving.

I ask all of you….is this any way to live?

Humanity One World
Humanity One World | Source
The new homestead
The new homestead | Source

THE TIME IS NOW

No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution... revolution is but thought carried into action.

Emma Goldman

Ms. Goldman was an anarchist during the late 19th Century, known for her political activism, writing and speeches. I have known a few anarchists during my lifetime, fire-breathing radicals who saw wrongs and sought to right them, and like Ms. Goldman believed that only through revolution could social change occur.

I happen to agree with them all.

This country is in need of a revolution because, quite frankly, it’s broken.

The days of old are gone. The days when a man who wanted to work could work are gone. The days when trust and fellowship were daily occurrences are gone. The days when safety on the streets was a foregone conclusion are gone. The days when love ruled supreme over hate and apathy are gone.

And only revolution can change it all.

I was a fire-breathing radical during the 60’s. Today I breathe polluted air and try to bring about change in a less dramatic fashion. I do not shout from the steps of the ROTC Building today, but I do write in opposition to the insanity of my government. I do not hate the police or military, but I do write to safeguard against any abuses of power that I see.

Most importantly, though, I try to live a life that I can be proud of, and I try to lead a quiet revolution of change within the very fabric and stitching of this country.

I believe there are millions out there who desperately want change but do not know how to make that change happen.

I believe there are millions who would embrace that old neighborhood of mine, and the underlying principles of justice that was exhibited on that street, but they do not have a clue where to sign up or how to partake in the necessary actions.

We have lost our way and it is high time we find our way back. It is high time that the silent majority step up and make themselves known, and quit sitting on their collective arses waiting for someone else to do it.

Are you ready to become a living, breathing example of the life you want for yourselves and your families?

Humanity One World
Humanity One World | Source

I CAN’T DO THIS ALONE

I need your help. I am just one writer in Olympia, Washington, one citizen among seven billion in this world. My voice has no power unless it ignites a fire within all of you, and that fire becomes a blazing inferno that eventually engulfs this planet. I am just standing on the soapbox hoping that someone will listen and stand next to me….one person at a time…making a difference in this world.

I invite you to join me in H.O.W. (Humanity One World). I invite you to spread the message to your family and friends. I invite you to stop talking about change and actually become that change. I invite you, dammit, to join me in a peaceful revolution of brotherhood and love.

Quite frankly I am sick and tired of people complaining and doing nothing. I am also sick and tired of those who have more than they will ever need and not caring about others. I am tired of the greed and apathy, and I am tired of the complacency that has become an epidemic in society today.

We can change the world and H.O.W. is my solution.

You can visit the H.O.W. Headquarters at the Corner of Love and Compassion Streets.

I hope to see you all there soon….before it’s too late for all of us.

It’s a beautiful day in the H.O.W. neighborhood….won’t you be my neighbor?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Welcome to my neighborhood
Welcome to my neighborhood | Source

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, interesting about your building. We are lucky to be in a good neighborhood....nothing like the one I grew up in, but still, for this time, it is a good neighborhood.

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Bill. I spent part of my childhood in a small town (less than 20,000 people at the time) so I can relate to living in a tight-knit community with friendly neighbors and wholesome activities. Now I live in a building with 750 people and am lucky to know 2 of the 5 families who live on the same floor. All the other units are occupied by snowbirds who come to Florida for a few winter months.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lab, complacency may be this nation's biggest problem...that and a lack of compassion for others. Still, I have hope, and as long as there is hope we have a chance to turn this around. H.O.W. would gladly include you.

      Thank you for the visit.

    • lab143 profile image

      lab143 4 years ago

      Very insightful, motivating, and inspiring hub! I'm interested in your H.O.W. movement and will definitely read more about it. I'm reminded of this verse in Isaiah under the subtitle, "A Rebellious Nation", Isaiah 1:17 says "Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." I believe we have become a selfish, complacent nation as you said. There is a lack of reaching out with compassion to those in need and seeking justice as we are called to do. Sometimes we become fearful, distrustful, and avoid taking risks. And so we stay in our comfort zone and give only so much. I enjoyed reading this...thanks so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Eddy, what truth there...people at times will only see what they want to see....great line and I wish I had written it. LOL

      Thank you my dear. It is so easy to see the bad in the world, and become an instrument for that darkness. It takes some real fortitude to envision hope, peace and understanding.

      Have a great weekend.

      love,

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I thought I had already commented on here ;oh well never mind let's try again lol

      As always a wonderful read which left some food for thought.Without a doubt society has changed but not as much as some make out.

      I was talking to someone yesterday who had heard that our neighbouring town is such a rough place to live in. Supposedly fighting with fists and weapons every Saturday night. Now this couldn't be further from the truth ;there may be the isolated incident but not as often as they make out. I worked with the vulnerable young people from this town only a few years ago and to this day they call me from across the road and they have such compassion and heart .

      People at times will only see what they want to see!!

      It is important we keep a balance to our outlook on life.

      Keep these wonderful hubs coming Billy and enjoy your weekend.

      Lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes we can, Theresa! It is never too late to reverse the trend....all it takes is willingness my friend.

      Thank you for your kind words, and for sharing your experiences from the past. I appreciate you greatly and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great and effective Hub as always Bill. And I think probably more change is occasioned by your hubs that you realize. Each of us does a little more, is more aware of the needs in our own little worlds. I know that I look for a little more I can do for others (and encourage my family and friends) every time I read one of your HOW hubs.

      I grew up mostly on air force bases and so there was a fairly strong sense of community and connection. But I remember five years when we lived in a small town in Georgia and we all had playmates in this little (50 years ago) neighborhood, And the women shared recipes and the men shared tools and we all felt safe.

      And thirty years ago my three sons grew up in a small, safe neighborhood and we were close to three families, but truthfully I did not know most of my neighbors that well at all. Sad. But we can work to reverse the current tendencies and rebuild our communities.

      Thank you for always being a blessing. Theresa

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I don't know how it happened but I'm determined to change it, one person at a time. It's a long road for society to travel, but I think we can do it.

      Thank you as always and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, it is an inviting home, and you are always welcome my friend, literally and figuratively. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eyes, I think that happens quite often. We live in bubbles now, and rarely venture out into another world.....I would love to see a sense of community once again, and I believe it can happen, but only if you and I do our parts. :)

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      It's all been said above Bill, awesome and so inspiring as usual. I really mean that you are indeed an inspiration. I can remember all friends and neighbours from so long ago just as you do. Today we hardly speak to our neighbours, times are so different now.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for sharing Bill. The world is changing much too quickly and we must all do our share to make it a better world. Love your new home it looks inviting. Let's reach out to one another. Passing this on.

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I was just speaking with a friend this morning about this very topic. For 10 years he has lived down the road from another member of our Toastmasters group and never knew. For many years a woman from my church lived around the corner from me. Neither of us knew! We have begun a similar movement here in CT to get people into the community and make changes to make the world a better place starting in our county. I will check out H.O.W. As always, great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie for your reflection. It is an interesting dynamic we see nowadays. Not necessarily better but definitely interesting. :)

      blessings,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Insightful, I'll go into battle with you and ImKarn any old day. Thank you my dear.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, it is emotionally taxing to take on the battles that you take on.....and it can be discouraging.....but never fear, I"m in your corner. :)

      Love having you as a friend. Thank you!

      bill

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      You know billy when i was young we knew everyone in our neighborhood .. you are so right.. living here in another state we live in a nice neighborhood.. we only know the people on each side of us.. and only one couple has actually invited us over their house... but I do have to say that when my husband had his motorcycle wreck our two neighbors came over and helped us when we needed help... many blessings my friend.. another great hub from you

      sharing

      Debbie

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      I'm with ImKarn23 I hardly remember anything either! It's very impressive how you remembered all those names. It must have been a great neighborhood. I can see why you work so hard. Only someone that has experienced something that good knows what to work for.

      I'm with you brother mentor!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      You are incredible, my friend - and - that's besides the fact that you can remember every name every car every house every adult - everyTHING!

      i can't remember anything - but - that may be by unconscious choice!

      i adore your tireless passion for change - for revolution even! you know i fight the same fight, but - sometimes - it gets to me..

      sometimes...i lose hope whereas nothing seems to slow you down!

      sometimes - i need to read you or eddy or linda, or or or...

      ya know..then i'm back in the fight!

      thanks for the battery charge!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pickles....I go back to my old neighborhood too....and you are right...it's the only thing that will heal us all.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      I had one of those neighborhoods too and still go by occasionally when I go back to my home town. Like you, each day I try to do something to spread the love. It is the only thing that will heal humanity. Really liked this hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I love it.....tell them, lady! :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      To BEGIN to get on the right track, we have to do what we did in our old neighborhoods. Get to know your neighbors. Do I know mine? Believe it! Things went downhill fast when policy became "It's me and my family." The neighborhood used to be the family and we cared about each other. That's your first step. Complete that, and I will give you another objective.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, I love it. We had two new neighbors move in this last month and that's what we did. Thanks for being a part of the solution.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      Bill, The neighbors next to us just sold their house. Here is my chance to welcome the new neighbors.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      patchofearth, I love it. If I were you I would never leave that neighborhood. :)

    • patchofearth profile image

      patchofearth 4 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      Great article, Bill. I live in a neighborhood kind of like that now. When my mower was down, my neighbor came over and mowed my lawn.

      It is quiet and most people know each other. One of the really unique facets of this neighborhood, however, is that many of the residents are older and many of them grew up right here in this neighborhood.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think so too, Annie! :)

    • anniebetty profile image

      anniebetty 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Oh billybuc. We have a lot in common. I can tell already. LOL!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anniebetty, a great comment and I thank you for it. I understand where you are coming from regarding love, but I have to stay positive because I promised my wife I would. LOL She calls me a cynical optimist....I think I lean more towards the cynical. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, any group with you and I in it is one heck of a great group. LOL Thank you for being here and for believing in H.O.W.

    • anniebetty profile image

      anniebetty 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hi, I have long commented that one of the greatest problems we have in this country are the fences. Back in my childhood neighborhood in northern Wisconsin, there were no fences. Every yard was my yard; every mom my mom. We all ran in a pack, and we all looked out for each other. All of our parents knew everyone's names, and word spread quickly and efficiently if we were up to no good. It was a fantastic life. I take my children to northern Wisconsin every summer so that they can have what I had growing up. Here in the northeast, things are different. But up there in Wisconsin, they can still run with a posse. Everyone knows where they belong and is quick to let me know if they aren't respectful or if they're up to no good. I can send them off on their bikes in the morning with a sack lunch and know they are safe and happy and busy doing kid stuff.

      We are blessed to live away from the suburbs, but our "neighborhood" is stunningly disinterested in what happens to anyone. Fences on every lot line. I joke with my one neighbor that if a moving van ever backs up to my house, she ought to call the police. Around here, most folks would just look out and say, "Oh, I guess they are moving." It would never occur to them to question that.

      Anyway, the key to better days in the world is community, I think. I lean on hope, because one person can make a difference one friendship or one neighbor at a time. I smiled and waved at one of my neighbors for more than 10 years before I got a curt nod back. It takes perseverence!

      I will challenge you on one thing, though. You said: "The days when love ruled supreme over hate and apathy are gone." I would submit that there has not been a time in our history when love managed to rule over hate and apathy. We have certainly had moments of glory, but our history is fraught with stories of hate and apathy.

      Anyway, thanks for a thoughtful, insightful post. I enjoyed it!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I will be your neighbor, Bill :)

      I agree with everything you said. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot. But I remember one neighborhood I lived in for years that had a wonderful community spirit, and I have not lived in a place like that since.

      Thanks for sharing another inspiring piece, and I hope it wakes people up. Your group is forming, slowly but surely.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, I still believe we can turn this around. We were out walking last night and we stopped and talked to five different people who were working in their yards....and it was nice. :) I want to see more people just talking...smiling...making an effort to get out and spread some humanity.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, Lizzie, thank you! I'm just trying to be consistent in how I live my life, and I can't expect others to change if I'm not willing to be the face of change. :)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      I live in a subdivision with about 50 houses. Most of the people, you just never even see. We walk the dogs, so we should see them, but you don't. The only people that I see at all to even speak to are the other dog walkers and the neighbors that live on each side of me.

      You inspire me to make a bigger effort. People have lost their trust for other people though, because of all the craziness that is going on in the world. I remember how innocent we all were in the 50's and early 60's. I'd like to have that back too.

      While we were dining out, we saw a tableful of about 9 early college age kids. Instead of talking, they were all texting on their cell phones or playing games. This hasn't helped our society. They text, instead of talk.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      I came a dacade and a half later, but I can relate to what you are saying.... We had a neighborhood, and kids we played with, and all our parents were friends.... I wonder if our children will ever have that feeling of belonging. Everything seems so cold nowadays..... I agree with you, Billy, WE, as individuals, need to make that change. Very inspiring work and very encouraging!

      Thanks for sharing ...... You are a wonderful role model :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathi, thank you! I think there are a lot of us 60's rabble rousers who have channeled our energies into a quieter revolution. At least I hope there are. LOL

      You are welcome at H.O.W. anytime...we would be proud to have you with us.

      Thank you my friend and have a great day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, it is an interesting phenomenon and I'm not sure how we change it....but we have to try, and it starts with every one of us. :) I know you will do your part, and I thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, that's a great example of what a community can do....community gardens are another way to bring people closer together.....there are ways but we have to act and make them happen.

      Thank you my friend. Enjoy your dog walk today. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I love hearing examples like that. I always have hope. :) Thank you Martin!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is sad, Alicia, and I'm not sure we can get it back....but we can try. It will take time but I don't believe it is too late.

      Thank you for always being here.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, I would love it too. Good for you and I hope you always stay there. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you for sharing and doing your part in this movement. Interesting to hear that this is the same in India...thank you for that perspective.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent point, Michelle! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it would be wonderful to live in a small town again. How great for you!

      Yes, wake up America! The time is now.

      Thank you my dear, and may blessings always be with you

      bill

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Wow... you had me at the old neighborhood, it felt just like mine. Every year we set long tables out on our dead end street and had a potluck picnic of joy. Afterwards the kids put on a play! I too can remember every neighbors name from parents to my friend's siblings and who did what when and where. Hadn't really thought about it that way until you reminded me so I thank you for that.

      Now, as for H.O.W., if you were to be graded on a persuasive paper you would get an A+++!! The 60's rebel rouser in you has emerged and I think just as powerfully if not more. The great communicator of the internet has given you a new platform and for a worthy cause. You know how to stir, Billy!

      Great line "Distrust, once reserved for insurance salesmen and lawyers, is now the default setting of our emotional computer."

      I promise to check out the H.O.W. and see what it's all about! Bless you, Kathi

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I agree wholeheartedly. We were so much more connected in the "good ole days." More adults were involved in the lives of the children in meaningful ways. Neighbors shared and we learned positive lessons from each other. Our new selfish attitude isn't doing us any good.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, yes it's a very different world we are living in, but my parents and grand parents probably said all the same things. Remember the 60s? All those long haired layabouts who did not know they were born...didn't know what it was like to do a days work, problem is; these days they don't get the chance to experience the joy of having a job.

      I believe each generation, as they get older, tends to look back with nostalgia. However, you are right in that our society stinks!... every man for himself, we can no longer trust our government, we are suspicious of our neighbors, especially in the city, fortunately; I haven't lived in the city for many years, but I've found that generally, people in the leafy suburbs are a touch more cordial.

      Neighbor-hood watch is a good way to get to know your neighbors, also walking the dog helps. I was told by the people from our famous Battersea dogs home, that every house in my neighborhood have at list one dog, I get to meet a lot of them on walkies. As human beings we need that connection, without it we all lose.

      Another insightful and important article.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Fear not my friend. I helped my community create an active neighborhood watch. The point being people can and will come forward.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've raised some very good points in this hub, Bill. Like you, I lived in a close neighborhood as a child. We knew many other people on our street and interacted with them regularly. That connection to other people living nearby seems to be missing in many places today. It's a sad change.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Well said Bill. I live in a tiny town and the neighbors are great. We all help each other out and watch out for each other. I love it!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Yes, the world has gone cold and not in the literal sense of the term, as you know. We as a race have become immune to human feelings and everything related to it. I entirely agree with your assessment that it is a global phenomenon today.

      Gone are those days and I sure miss them but there is hope; hope in this H.O.W. movement that you are spearheading. I'm standing shoulder to shoulder with you in this neighbourhood and am trying to spread the word around. It will take time but if all of us pull our weight it is bound to happen.

      Wonderful hub. Voted all the way up and shared here and on G+1

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I think the global movement has also limited our propensity to share with others, and to care too. Being good neighbors has become a sad rarity. Too. true.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      We must all, each one of us, be a part of the change, and certainly waiting on the government to "fix" us, just is not going to happen!!!

      Since I now live in a small town, it is somewhat like back in the day here, as everyone does know everyone and friendly and helpful. So, there is hope!

      Wake up America!!!

      Thanks Bill for continuing to keep us focused on what needs to change.

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dfelker, thank you for the kind words. It would be interesting to listen to our kids when they are our age, talking about the old days. I wonder what they will say?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I have noticed that strangeness too...kids aren't outside playing like they once were....they all go to the Mall and "hang out." What's up with that? When did simple become complicated????

      Thanks buddy, and I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end......

      Ah, blessed nostalgia. Why can't it be there way again? :)

      Thank you Ruby!

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      dfelker 4 years ago

      Nostalgia, wonderful hub! I felt the same way. A while ago I wrote "Calverton Kids of the 1970's" remembering how it was growing up. I can only hope my kids have good memories of at least some of our neighbors who are really nice and supportive. They will also have memories of some of our neighbors who have been absolutely awful. You write about such good topics, I enjoy reading your hubs!

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, it is different today. When I was growing up we were in and out of neighbors houses all the time. We played in their yards, ate at their cookouts, went places with them. Today it is much different. No kids running around, never mind coming into our home. No cookouts, no nothing. I miss the way it was.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This made me long for my old neighorhood, everyone was close and was there if needed. I also long for the times when children could play kick-the-can after dark and knew no fear. Everyone had homes, a car, a job and maybe a little money saved. A person would be ashamed if on welfare. I am not knocking welfare if it is truly needed. You have inspired me again..Thank you

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Comfort, that is fascinating. I don't have an answer for you....and I wonder why that is?

      Thank you for that perspective. Concerns me a bit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, this is just my regular crowd. They drop by daily for a cup of tea and a chat. :) I don't know what I would do if they didn't show up...might have to consider a different job. LOL

      Thank you for your thoughts on this. Your experiences would certainly sour some people....I can understand that completely. I saw some interesting human beings when I did volunteer work after my college days during the late 60's....somehow I came out of that still believing in mankind.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, I love that you shared my writing with you mum. What a lovely thing to do. Thank you, and of course I agree that we must all work together to make this happen.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, you raise an interesting question about this generation when they recall our lives. I don't know....very interesting.

      As for those neighbors of yours...what a sad situation, and you fell right into the trap by being friendly. Sigh! There are days we just cannot win, aren't there? :)

      Thank you my UK friend.

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      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      My neighborhood consisted of mainly 40 & 50 something and up, until about 4 years ago when new sub-divisions sprouted up and the young 20 & 30 something moved in. Every attempt to reach out has been snubbed. And it's not just my family that's experiencing the snubs, other families are too. What do you do? We've been here for decades, yet we're treated like we're the ones who don't belong.

      We still have our old friendly neighbors, but how do we win the new young ones?

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      Alan R Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Another crowd you've pulled here, billybuc.

      I used to be bolshie in my not too distant youth, (I was a sometime subscriber to the Soviet Weekly) vocal union member in the print (Fleet Street), Chairman and later Father of the Chapel (FOC - it was illegal in the early days to be political in the print, so the unions organised themselves as 'Chapels' to disguise their status).

      I lost some of my fire for my fellow man when I found myself doing all the running without backup as FOC at one workplace, accompanying the same miscreants to HQ for dressing-downs and getting water thrown at me - if you did that union thing you did it not expecting any back-slapping.

      I joined the postal workers union, the CWU after starting work at Royal Mail but left it to the established boys and limited myself to backing action, elections or sanctioned pay deals.

      Now I'm a plain old pensioner, paying taxes (income and council) and writing on here. I've got to watch it before I run out of puff.

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      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      So true Bill. I read out your hub "The Voice Of The Silent Majority" to my mum yesterday evening while I was on the phone with her. We were talking about how true it was, and also about a few issues you have discussed here in this hub today. Thank you for this Bill. We all need to work together and make this world a better place to live in. It will happen, if we all put in little efforts.

      I am sharing this!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      I wonder if children growing up in this generation will recall their lives in the way which you describe! Living the the UK we rather naively tried to ask our immediate neighbors over for a pre-Christmas drink. How disappointing, those who we expected to come never showed up at all. We were quite unaware that there was in-feuding among the invited, even those who would not even sit down at the same table together, not even at Christmas. Did they let us know - no, they just did not show! The times are a changing and sometimes not for the better, sometimes you feel like banging your head on a brick wall Billybuc.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, I have heard that argument many times and I don't care....a man or woman is homeless and without food and I'm going to help them if I can. I cannot judge what they are going to use the money for...that is not my job. My job is to help others...period.

      Thank you for being who you are....you help me realize how many good people there are in the world.

      Peace and love from Oly

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will do that, Sha, and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you were due and you came through. :) You are right, of course. Families do move around constantly now, and with the economy going down the toilet there will be more of it as people look for work in other cities and states. As for people not getting involved, I will never understand that way of thinking. How could three girls be held captive for ten years in a residential neighborhood? It is beyond comprehension at yet it happened.

      Thanks for the rant. Anytime you feel like it, my home is your home. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, thank you, and you said it perfectly...we must each fill a role, whatever it might be, and embrace it. Well said my friend.

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      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Incredible hub, Bill!

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      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      ...and truth be told in this hub and the reality that echoes in the world we now live in. The other day, I threw some change to a pan-handler on the street. My colleague told me not to because he's only going to use the money for drugs. I said, it's ok and I don't care where he'd want to use the money, I'd like to give him some of my loose change and hopefully it helps him--that's my part, the rest is up to him. But then, somehow I feel guilty. What if he's really using the money for drugs? So then, I'm helping him out feed his vices. I'll never know.

      Alright, I digress but just like the lyrics of the song...."He's my brother....He ain't heavy". He needs help and I am capable of helping. So, why not help?

      Another very powerful and inspiring hub Bill. You know you have my votes up and passing along to spread the good words.

      Always a pleasure to read your hub.

      Love from your good neighbor~

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Keep us posted, Bill. Either one would be great for you. Having had an insider's view of the school board, gives you an edge.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I think there are a couple reasons why we've become so disconnected. First, families move around a lot more than they used to. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Brooklyn (where my entire family is from). They, and all of their neighbors, lived on that block in Canarsie for at least four decades. While I visited, I loved going outside to "sit on the stoop" after dinner. Everyone would mingle and talk about this and that. No one thought there were better things to do with their time. When my grandpa died, the whole neighborhood mourned. And when my grandma moved to Florida, many of her neighbors moved to the same retirement park. One couple was close with my grandparents. The man worked for the city driving a bus. So this leads to my second reason: no one ever looked down on him for being a bus driver. He provided an important service to the community and was respected for that (and, by the way, he received a healthy pension that allowed him to buy a new car every other year after retirement). Today, people judge you by what you do for a living. You should fit into a list of standards: have a certain job, make a certain amount of money, and have certain things. And don't forget, you should own a home by a certain age. No one likes to be judged, and how else can you protect yourself from judgement but by remaining isolated? Now, these aren't excuses or good reasons to remain disconnected, but I think they're strong contributors to our present situation. And it's a serious problem. I mean, look at what happened in Cleveland! Several neighbors SAW that something was wrong in that house. They called the cops, then washed their hands of the situation. Why didn't they contact the newspapers, post photos on the internet . . . do something? It's just scary to know that you could be in terrible danger, and the person next door will tell her granddaughter to look the other way.

      Well, I guess I was due for a rambling. It's been a while.

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      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Another inspiring hub from you, dear Bill. This is the crux of it, in my humble opinion: ". .a status of greatness is if every citizen decides to become a part of the solution rather than a whining part of the problem . ."

      We really ARE one or the other, though each of us has his/her own solution-role to fill, which we must embrace & live every day we do live.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, what a remarkable family you have. It is heartwarming to read your words about the work your kids are doing, and the great work you and your wife are doing. What ambassadors you all are for H.O.W. Keep up the good work my friend...we are fighting the good fight with every act of kindness.

      Blessings to you my friend.

      Aloha

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, it's interesting that you moved back to your old neighborhood. Keep telling your kids those stories...those stories are invaluable my friend. Things can change but it is up to us to do the changing, and it starts with us, and then our children, and their children. This is a long road of change that we are traveling, and I'm in it for the long run.

      Thank you as always....love your comments.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I have always believed that fear is at the heart of this problem in society and honestly, I don't know how we stomp out that fear.....but I know there is no chance of doing it if we do not raise awareness. We must make the effort to reach out to others and end that fear. We must!

      Thank you so much for a great comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thelma, it is gratifying knowing you are along for this HOW ride....we just have to keep making change for the better my friend. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I will hold onto your last statement and hope...each little seed we sew....I have to believe that or there is very little hope for us all. Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      one2get2no, I don't know my friend. I do know my memories of my childhood are accurate regarding the neighborhood, but I also know what you say is true...somewhere in-between I would guess. :) Thank you for the visit and comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, it is always interesting hearing from someone outside the U.S., and finding out that the same reflections hold true in other parts of the world. Thank you!

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, I want to lovingly and specifically respond to your rallying call. My wife and I are visiting and singing with senior citizens in rest, retirement, assisted living, and nursing homes on Saturday afternoons. The other day, my daughter interviewed two homeless people in front of WalMart and then spent the money she'd earned all week in tips at the bakery/restaurant she works at to buy toiletries and cold beverages for these dear people who were half baked in the intense heat wave we recently had. In California, my corporate executive son remembers his humble roots and gives a portion of his salary to worthy causes. On weekends, he and his girlfriend administer Bible studies. There's definitely more that we can do. As a writer, eBay seller, friend, and neighbor--inspired by the love and compassion of Humanity One World--I am linked tightly with my family as we reach out and do what we can to reach out to others.

      Thank you so very much for inspiring us all. Aloha and blessings, my friend!

      Joe

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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Like a GOOD NEIGHBOR.... BillyBuc is there! :-)

      You had me counting the kids in my hometown neighborhood and I had 30 different playmates at any given time from Elementary through High School, a village of 5 streets. I grew up very much like you, we knew our neighbors, called them by name and can recall vehicles they drove and pets they had. We had a park program where we'd get together daily and play Capture the Flag and other activities, Softball games at night and car tag. I just recently moved back to my hometown and I jokingly say you can sit on your front porch and watch the tumbleweeds roll down the street... the people are gone! I make my kids listen to my stories over and over again, because I recognize and appreciate how special those times were... they don't have to be gone Billy! We might have to work a little harder to make them happen, but someone has to say hello first, right?

      Yes, I'll be your neighbor! :-)

      Excellent, as always!

      Cat

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      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill...The rampant distrust of others, including neighbors, is a sad commentary on our world today. I feel nostalgic for the days of my youth when everything was so different and people were more prone to treat each other with friendliness and respect.

      Of course, I have to take off my rose-colored glasses when I look back at the past of my childhood. I grew up in the Deep South, and anyone who has read about the 1950s in Mississippi knows it was not idyllic. Far too many Mississippians were not friendly and respectful of others unless those "others" had the same color skin, same country of origin, same religious affiliation, etc. I am thankful that I escaped the scourge of becoming a bigot because my grandparents and mother were tolerant and kind, which influenced me in a positive way, but recognize that--just by growing up in such a place--I could so easily have been one of the people who hated without reason.

      When I studied sociology and anthropology, I learned that fear is the root of unreasoning hatred and bigotry. While the fabric of society in this country has changed substantially since my youth, and--in some ways--for the better, there is still fear and intolerance, though it may be directed toward different groups of "others."

      As Jackie said in a previous comment, please keep sewing these seeds of tolerance, Bill. Keep teaching the message of H.O.W.

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      You are right Bill. Those childhood days when we played with our neighbours children and where our parents chatted with them across the streets. No fear because we knew who they were and that we trusted them. Those were good old days. Now we appreciate those moments and think, "if we could only bring back times".

      I´m with you with this HOW. Thanks for sharing.

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Gosh, I was thinking we always lived away from neighbors, you sure couldn't look out and see them but you still knew who they were and the ones we did not walk right up to their door to we still knew about from Mom and Dad, so they knew them. America is changing and it seems there are fewer real Americans. I think distrust of our government who we now find out has been listening to our phone calls, finding out who are donors, (?) (and the list goes on) making it hard to trust many. All of a sudden it seems the two parties are dividing down the middle when as a child you never even discussed these things or heard them discussed.

      Whether you see the results you want or not billy, you have to be making a difference and that is what counts. Each little seed we sew...

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      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      I wonder what it is about growing old that makes our memories appear tinted by rose petals. Most things seemed wonderful back then....has the world really changed that much? Another insightful hub Billy...thanks for the memories....:-)

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I am South African and since I moved to Croatia I do feel I have lost another part of my life so much has changed and now with different people you are so right! It makes me think of my old neighborhood as well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sherri, I have noticed that as well...paranoid for sure....and toss in some fear....bad recipe my friend, and we need to turn it around.

      Thank you for the visit. I hope you are well and happy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, Jeff mad that point....when we were growing up we had no idea how good we had it, or that the nation that we knew would change so drastically....we might have fought a little harder to hold onto it had we known, right?

      Thank you as always and have a great day.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I can't decide between city council or school board....better make up my mind soon....the filing window closes Friday. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I want the world to be a better place for your girls as well....we'll work together and see if we can't make it happen.

      You know I greatly appreciate you....thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff, what a great point.....we had it so good and didn't realize it....great comment my friend and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you made my day with this comment. That's the kind of stuff that lights up my day. Keep being you my friend. You are our roving ambassador for H.O.W. goodwill.