Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diversity in Action

Bill explaining how the tractor works

Yesterday Bill gave his beloved Wheel Horse lawn mower away.  

Bill bought the Wheel Horse from my brother John for $1,000 in 1980.  John was preparing to move to South Carolina and didn't want to take his tractor with him.  

Bill used that Wheel Horse to mow our lawn in Pennsylvania for 26 years.  

He brought the Wheel Horse with us when we moved to Delaware.  He continued to use it to mow our lawn for the past four years.

A couple of weeks ago our neighbor (who happens to be a Pakistani Muslim doctor) across the street from us told Bill he was selling his house.  He asked Bill if he wanted to buy his John Deere tractor.  Bill jumped at the offer.  Our neighbor doesn't live at his house and only used his tractor a few time before he and his family moved to Philadelphia.

Now Bill had two tractors.  What to do with the Wheel Horse?  

Bill decided to ask the man who mows our other neighbor's lawing he wanted it.  That man is Hispanic.  We don't know if he is an illegal or not but it doesn't matter to us.  Every time we see him mowing and trimming our neighbor's lawn we have always been impressed at how hard he works.  He obviously has his own business.  We did have that little incident this past summer when his little boy got into one of my bluebird houses but I have since moved past that.  He hasn't brought the kid back since I complained to him. 

He said he wanted it.  He was very happy.  Bill explained to him how the lawn mower worked and gave him the papers with instructions.  I don't know how much good those instructions will do because they're so old, they're only in English (unlike instructions these days which are in both English and Spanish).

Thus we had a successful, friendly, neighborly transaction yesterday.  

Now would this transaction have been possible in the kind of country that the Tea Party wants?  Consider what has happened here:

  1. Mr. Hameed, our Muslim Pakistani neighbor offers his John Deere tractor for sale to Bill.
  2. Bill is gay.  
  3. Bill offers his Wheel Horse tractor to the Hispanic (Guatemalan) man who mows our neighbor's lawn.
So consider what happened here, a Muslim neighbor sells his tractor to his gay neighbor who, in turn, gives his old tractor to a Guatemalan man.  

What in the world would Christine O'Donnell think about this activity? 

Would Carl Palidino approve?  After all a gay was included in this transaction and as Carl said yesterday, "being gay is not an acceptable lifestyle."

Would Sharron Angle look on in askance?

Would Rand Paul condemn such an action as being unpatriotic? 

Would Jan Brewer have someone check the Hispanic man's papers?

Just goes to show you what happens when you live in a diverse neighborhood. 

People being kind to one another and working together. 


G said...

You just showed an excellent example of the true America. This scene plays out every day in this country but the tea bagger conservatives refuse to acknowledge that it's the way we all get along.

Ron said...


You are 100% correct. These scenes of "pay it forward" happen every day in this country. Bill and I have given a lot to the hard working Guatemalan immigrants who live here in southern Delaware and do so much for us.

I thought this situation was interesting because a Muslim gave us gay guys a deal on his tractor and the gay guys gave their old tractor to a Guatemalan immigrant. According to the tea baggers we should even be here let alone living and cooperating together. This gives lie to their reason for being.

Ur-spo said...

that was a lovely story. I hope it is a metaphor for what we could do globally.

nitewrit said...


This reminds me of the piece I did last March, "Good Deeds Make A Good Chain" this is in my "Life, Death and the Lonely Art" blog. Of course that was two black men, one old white guy, one young white guy and one Hispanic immigrant helping an old Jewish widow get to the hospital after a blizzard.

I have never looked at people as groups, but as individuals. A neighbor is a neighbor and a neighbor is everybody, isn't that part of the lesson of the "Good Samaritan"? Jews and Samaritans disliked each other so much they wouldn't speak. Jews would evan take the long way around to travel from one end of Israel to the other so they didn't have to step foot in Samaria. But who came to the aid o the Jew, who was beaten and robbed and left for dead? Was it the upper class Jew? Was it the religious Jew? No, it was a Samaritan.

We got far too much sticking tags on people and name-calling when we disagree. I don't indulge in it, I won't indulge in it.



nitewrit said...


Oh, wait. Except for politicians.


Ron said...

I agree with you Lar. That's one reason our friendship has lasted so long. I'm not friends with people who think otherwise.

Ron said...

I keep think of the Rodney King quote:

"Can't we all just get along together?"

We're all in this together.