|Image by Judith Peck
Nothing is harder than the softness of indifference. Juan Montalvo, Ecuadorian author
I'm beginning to accept the fact that many of my neighbors don't give a shit.
Here's the reason why: I am the secretary on the board of our neighborhood association. So, when the president of our neighborhood and I sent out reminders to neighbors about our monthly meeting, only four people showed up.
On top of that, elections are coming up and no one wants to serve as officers. There are only three of us on the board: the president, who is also the treasurer, the vice-president, and me. We have been serving longer than the one-term we had agreed to fulfill. But so few are interested in getting involved and filling our shoes.
If it weren't for the members of board, membership dues wouldn't be collected, which help pay the electric, the water and the maintenance bills for the beautiful entrance islands of our neighborhood. Without funds, the colorful entrances that bloom from spring to fall would suffer and go downhill. Not only that, the islands would be bare during the holidays because nobody would step up to decorate them.
I guess our neighborhood mirrors what the world has become. This me, me, me world where many only think of themselves.
You might be wondering what the board has done to engage neighbors and I will tell you we've done quite a bit. We've posted newsletters on Facebook, organized the yearly neighborhood yard sale, created attractive yard signs that neighbors can display when they pay their dues, improved landscaping, and decorated the islands to make them festive for the holidays.
Yet each year, fewer and fewer pay dues to support the neighborhood association. Most neighbors are perfectly fine with the few who pay the annual fee to keep the neighborhood looking good. Last year about 100 neighbors out of a total of 400 paid their membership dues. This year, eighty joined. Twenty percent. I'm not surprised, yet I'm disappointed. If more people paid their dues and joined the neighborhood association, we could do more landscaping, have better holiday decorations, and even organize social events. But only a handful care. Apathy runs rampart. And I haven't a clue for the cure.