Thank you neighbors & strangers

Thank you to the thousands of people whose labor during blizzards, power-outages, hurricanes and other disasters or big events, keep me comfortable and safe.  You do work that often goes unheralded.  Even when you don’t get everyone’s power back on or all of the piles of snow removed as quickly as desired, you work hard-hard-hard!  Thank you.

Some of you stick your necks out for us – firefighters, police officers, EMTS, T operators, and utility workers to name but a few. You step into harm’s way.  “I was just doing my job” is what you often say when asked by a reporter why you did what you did.  Humble…matter-of-fact.  I admire you for this.  I don’t know that I have the grace or fortitude you exercise.

Most of you leave your own homes and families to tend the homes and families of others.  Do you count on others to take care of them?  Do you wonder if you will make it back home to them safe and sound?

Pay cannot be the sole motivation for helping your fellow citizens.  Where does the sense of duty come from?  How was it nurtured?

Thank you.  From the bottom, top and middle of my heart.

Thank you neighbors for digging out the elderly neighbor across the street.  She is fiercely independent and private.  She will not ask for help and usually doesn’t accept it when it is offered.  But this snow storm, you got to work before she could protest or prevent. Thank you for being observant and caring. 

Thank you to the dozens of people whose labor ensures: 

  • The T runs.

  • The coffee is brewed.

  • The supermarket is stocked.

  • The mail and paper and packages are delivered.

  • The planes take-off and land.

  • The offices are cleaned.

  • The trash and recyclables are cleared.

  • The fruits and vegetables are picked.

  • The restaurant is open.

  • The children taught and coached and cared for.

  • The clothes are sewn and  the lights are on and we are informed about what’s going on in our neighborhood, city, and world.


Thank you to the artists & entertainers who create:

  • Music – what would life be without music?

  • Literature – the stories and poems that buoy us.

  • Film – the movies  and other visual media that entertain us.

  • Theater – that illuminate our world.

  • Art – that reflects and broadens.

  • Dance – that shows the brilliance of bodies in motion.


Thank you to the athletes:

  • Who play the games we enjoy.

  • Who antagonize us with your mishaps and elevate us with your feats & triumphs.


Thank you neighbors and strangers for being part of my life even when I don’t know.  My life would not be sustained without you.


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Thank you, thank you, thank you!


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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