I am the only girl and the middle child between two boys. Perhaps not surprisingly, a popular exhortation around my childhood home was “Bring out the best in each other!” My mom pulled out this little gem whenever we used our creative genius for evil rather than good; annoying and antagonizing one another rather than playing nicely. Bringing out the best in one another was a wise reminder that we each have the creative power within us to make our world a better place by thinking of the joy we might provide, rather than what we might take.
I was reminded of this saying last week when a neighbor shared this story from her experience trick-or-treating with her grandchild on our famous Halloween night:
As we came to Tejon and San Miguel, we were greeted by a nice couple with two pugs dressed as gargoyles. The man offered us candy from a large shoulder bag he held. I introduced myself and asked if they lived in the area.
The couple explained that when their kids were younger they brought them to the ONEN to trick or treat on Halloween. An activity they themselves thoroughly enjoyed. Now that their children are too old to celebrate the holiday, they’d decided they should not deprive themselves of the tradition they looked forward to every year; the elaborate Halloween decorations and sidewalks filled with eager children.
So, there they stood at the corner with their canine “children” dressed in costume, and handed out candy to the little trick or treaters who passed by.
Am I the only person in the neighborhood who hadn’t met these kind people until now? I don’t know how many years they have done this, or if this is their first time. At any rate, I thought it heartwarming that they felt so at home here they stationed themselves on a street corner in our neighborhood, and gave out Halloween candy to the children.
Thanks to the neighbor who shared to this story and thanks to the couple who brought joy to our neighborhood. As we look forward to the next round of holidays, may we all remember to bring out the best in our neighbors and our community.