I’m around 8 years old and a new neighbor moves in next door. I don’t remember ever talking to her personally but I do recall my parents talking to me about her. Their statements were the echoes of her complaints about our going into her back yard to retrieve our balls. Her fence was the home run fence.
I vaguely remember knocking on the door and receiving a dour response, it just seemed I was always in trouble. I do recall her trying to keep one of our precious balls and it was a few weeks later she complained to my parents about some yellowish substance on her siding. While I cannot with certainty disclose what substance it was, I can give you some keys to avoid having your siding covered in egg.
My friends and I weren’t mean or nasty kids, we just liked to play as most 8 year old boys do. I am thoroughly convinced the mean old lady next door could have avoided much of her annoyance and definitely decreased the risk of egg ending up on her siding by doing a handful of things:
- Smile, it will disarm people and give them a warm impression of you
- Offer a small gift, something as simple as a homemade cookie or piece of pie. Your generosity will open the door for reciprocity
- Initiate interaction, simple acknowledgment of their existence via a wave, or a short greeting will often give them a positive view of you
I am sure that these three steps would not only have kept the egg off her siding but could have produced other benefits. Around that same age, I helped a different neighbor rake their leaves (just because he talked to me when I rode my bike by his house).
- Groceries brought in for her.
- Her backyard not used as the home run fence.
- Weeds pulled from her flower beds
- And many more
Your kindness or lack thereof will oft be reciprocated. This is especially true when dealing with immature people (such as children). Your kindness could even keep egg from randomly finding its way onto your siding.
How have you ever experienced kindness bring reciprocity in your life?