Quote of the moment

"I have to tell it again and again: I have no doctrine. I only point out something. I point out reality, I point out something in reality which has not or too little been seen. I take him who listens to me at his hand and lead him to the window. I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The value of truth, trust AND community - The story of Andy's pizza

When Andy was young  Jorge would always read as a bedtime story cover to cover until even the cover fell apart:




It seems that the reading and lessons have paid off recently.  It was to be a late evening for us so we agreed upon ordering a pizza.  Jorge was still working and I still needed to walk the dog. I thought that if I ordered and prepaid for the delivery of our pizza from the neighborhood corner pizza restaurant I could time it all perfectly to return home with pizza waiting.  I stopped by Da Dino's pizzeria that Andy frequents independently and as a result is well known but them as they are by us.




 Usually the concierge must call up and announce the arrival of anyone. Since Andy never answers the phone, if my timing failed I figured that the pizza would be awaiting me at the concierge's desk upon my return. However, upon my return to our apartment the concierge informed me that the pizza not only arrived, but also said he had sent it and the delivery man on up to our apartment.

I also discovered from the concierge, that once the delivery man arrived with the pizza, Andy, aware there's no such thing as free pizza, tried to pay the delivery man again. The delivery man explained the best he could to Andy in Spanish that  the pizza was paid for- but Andy wouldn't accept without paying so he tried again. The delivery man was insistent and left without taking Andy's money. He then  made certain that the concierge would inform us that he was a truthful and trustful delivery man.

Upon my arrival at our apartment, I was amazed again and very pleased to find Andy in the kitchen eating a nice large salad that he had prepared himself and his slice of pizza awaiting its completion. How wonderful to learn that all our coaxing to pace himself while eating his favorite food had paid off!



I strongly believe that there was one more value beyond those of truth and trust on the part of the delivery man and that also of Andy wanting to pay for his dinner. The greater value displayed here was that of community and the relationships that develop from it that enhance a confidence of truth and trust.   As John McKnight notes though:
Whether we are safe and secure in our neighborhood is largely within our domain. Many studies show that there are two major determinants of our local safety. One is how many neighbors we know by name. The second is how often we are present and associated in public, outside our houses. Police activity is a minor protection compared to these two community actions. This is why most informed police leaders advocate for block watch and community policing. They know their limits and call to our movement.
No matter how hard they try, our very best institutions cannot do many things that only we can do. And what only we can do is vital to a decent, good, democratic life. People in the new movement know what only we have the power to do as local neighbors and citizens. Read the full article: John McKnight on Community Capacities and Community Necessities
Without all three- community,  truth and trust- I most certainly realize this story could have had a much different, even scary ending.

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