What Are Neighbors For?


Gladys had infantile paralysis and was lame. When she walked, she needed a cane. However, since she was able to drive a car, she worked at a company and supported her mother and herself. In the small town in Canada where Gladys lived, she would hire someone in wintertime to shovel the snow off the driveway around the house.

Last year, however, there was no need for that. The father of the family that moved in next door kindly shoveled the snow for her when he did his own walks. Gladys tried to give him something for his trouble, but he always refused, saying, "I hope my mother who lives alone in Holland will be helped by others."

One night there was a very heavy snowstorm. On the following day, Gladys thought she would have to take the day off. But when she saw that her neighbor had cleaned off her driveway before he went to work, she was able to drive to work.

When she came back home that night, just as she was turning into her driveway, the wife from the house next door ran out with her baby in her arms, shouting, "I'm sorry, but will you please take me to the hospital?" The baby's face was blue, and gasping for breath.

At the hospital the baby was immediately put into an oxygen tent. According to the doctor, if they had been even a few minutes later, he didn't think he could have saved the baby's life.

Gladys thought to herself, "If that child's father had not shoveled off my driveway, I couldn't have taken them to the hospital.