Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Neighbors Upstairs……………….

Over 35 years ago, my family and I lived in an apartment of a 4 unit building that my father owned.   Dr. and Mrs. Gupta (not their real names) and their 4 children lived in one of the other 2 bedroom, one bath apartments upstairs.  Dr. Gupta was studying for his American medical credentials while Mrs. Gupta worked. 
Over the years, the Guptas and my parents became friends and so did the kids.  My brother and I went to the Guptas apartment to play and the Gupta children came to ours often as well.   As time went by,  though, there was one issue that was straining  the relationship.   As would be expected  with  4 young children and busy parents  who had limited time to clean, the apartment was often filthy.   Cockroaches infested the unit and soon were invading the other apartments.  The other tenants started complaining.  At some point, my father had no choice but to ask the Guptas to vacate the apartment.   And so ended a relationship. 
Time went by and a couple of years later my parents ran into the Guptas while shopping at Sears.  They exchanged pleasantries, caught up on the kids and my father invited them over for dinner.  And  so began  a renewed friendship, one that has lasted to this day.  The Guptas have been to my wedding and those of my siblings.  My parents have also  had the privilege of seeing all the Gupta children married and even attending  some baby showers.      
I’ve always believed that there is something wonderful about the older generations.  Tom Brokaw wrote about the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and the 2 World Wars.  He coined the  phrase “The Greatest Generation.”   My parents generation  also saw turbulent times and social unrest  during  the 1960’s and ‘70’s.   Maybe that’s what made them great.  Having seen uncertainty, turmoil, violence, death and destruction, I believe, taught them  integrity and  helped them value human life and  relationships.
Today we live in a fast paced, ever changing, transient  world  where people sometimes don’t know the person in the house next door.  Our homes just got  bigger with fewer family members people living in them. We thrive on change and get bored with things easily.  Fashions and fads come and go.  The neighbors we didn’t know move on to other places.  Could we be as forgiving and embracing? 

1 comment:

Niki said...

This was sent to me by a freind and I wanted to share it. I had never seen it before. So true and so beautifully said.

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbor.
We build more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies then ever,
but have less communication;
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods
but slow digestion;
Tall men but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It's a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.
The 14th Dalai Lama

Wish life could be different - but there are lessons to be learnt along the journey I guess

Take care