Editor: I write today to compliment the neighbors here in my hometown of Leesburg. Yesterday afternoon, as I was out shoveling my driveway, my next-door neighbor came out and let me borrow his snowblower. After showing me how to use it, he made sure I was able to figure everything out before going back inside. This kindness saved me a ton of time, and back ache, and just demonstrates the amazing neighbors and neighborhoods we have here in our hometown.
My neighbor wasn’t born in the United States. He moved here and raised his family here and has built a great life. His contributions strengthen Leesburg, and Loudoun, every day as he works as a civil engineer improving our infrastructure. Ever since my family moved into this neighborhood, he has lived the values of kindness and community, and reflected a deep understanding of what being a neighbor really means.
But that has been my experience ever since I moved to Leesburg. Shortly after my wife and I moved here, over 10 years ago, I made a wrong turn into an open lot and my car got stuck in the mud. It was well and truly wedged. Luckily, a few other neighbors here in town were walking home, and without hesitating, stepped behind my car and pushed me out of the muck. I wanted to thank them, as it was cold out, and they would have been perfectly justified to hurry home, but I didn’t speak enough Spanish at the time, and they didn’t speak enough English. However, they understood the language of mutual help, and saved me a tow, on their way home to their apartments on Plaza Street.
Being a good neighbor knows no nationality nor language. It just knows kindness and respect. So the next time you hear someone, even one of our elected leaders, speaking ill of “those” people from “there,” consider that the speaker might learn a bit about being a good neighbor from Leesburg’s amazing immigrant community.
Evan Macbeth, Leesburg