The benefits of being considerate

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My block club held our annual back-to-school party this past weekend. I hadn't planned on attending, but several circumstances kept me from leaving.

The day started off with our BEAT 2532 car stopping by. We pointed out a vehicle that did not have a permit parking pass. It also had a flat and didn't belong to anyone living on our block. The officer could have easily ticketed the car for several violations. Instead she went and knocked on the door of the people living on North Avenue, and asked them to move their vehicle. The guy came running out to move it and avoided those citations. That simple act of consideration probably avoided an ugly confrontation.

My car's brakes had been crunching and grinding. As I sat around wondering why they were sounding so bad, I readily recalled the moment the brakes were last done. It seem like only yesterday that the mechanic was putting on the new front brakes. I could recall the warm weather outside when he last did them. Since it hadn't been during the past two months, that can only mean one thing: The new brakes were put on a year ago! They had worn down. It was time to get the pads replaced.

It didn't take long for my friend to come to my house and put on the new brake pads. My mechanic had parked in front of a neighbor's garage. The neighbor didn't like that the man had parked in front of his garage. Although he wasn't planning to park in his garage, he wanted the car moved. That was a moment that could have easily turned into an ugly situation. But rather than cause a controversy, my mechanic simply moved his van in front of another neighbor's garage, whom I knew would be more understanding.

Once my brakes were done, I went to sit out front with a few of my neighbors. A couple of people came by and asked to get some food. They didn't live on our block, but rather than create a situation over food that we had plenty of, we let them have hot dogs, chips, and a pop. Again another incident that could have gotten ugly, but was averted.

My block had gotten the free jumping jack from the city. Just when the kids finally came out and began to play on it, the man came to pick it up. Four hours can pass very quickly. The children were very disappointed, but rather than argue with the man, we just had to accept the reality that the limited time frame wasn't enough. Again, maturity prevailed and a situation that could have gone ugly was averted.

As the party went late into the evening, the police again showed up. A neighbor had called and complained about not being able to park in front of their house and about the loud music. The police ask to see our permit to close off the block. We produced it and the end time for our permit was 9 p.m. Seeing that it was almost that time, we didn't fuss. We moved the cars blocking access to our street. Some neighbors wondered who could have called, but I told them I have a rule. If we wanted to know which neighbor called the police, we only had to wait to see who would be the first person to park. As expected, it was the neighbor we all could have predicted. Their car eased onto the block and went in front of their house. Although it wasn't necessary for them to have called the police, we averted turning one incident into a major controversy.

If there are any lessons to be learned from that day's events, it is to take a moment to be considerate of one another!

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