Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen

The Neighbor Next Door

Please don’t be the neighbor the next door. The one that always looks angry, frustrated, and troubled. The one that cannot rally a pleasantry such as “good morning” or “hello”. For life is exponentially better when we choose to be respectful and caring for those around us. When we as individuals live too much in our heads we go through our days with only ourselves in mind. To think of just ourselves is a path to no where. If motivation to action is purely with selfish intentions in mind, the outcome will always and only lead to a temporary satisfaction. We are all in this world together and thus we must rise above the so called “struggles” of the day. Bob Marley once wrote, “every man thinks his burden is the heaviest.” When we engage our minds and understand that every single one of us is struggling, has periods of ups and downs, and are all simply working toward a better tomorrow, life will begin to flow more easily. Modern day living is racing toward a more alienating state of being particularly with “social media.” How is it possible to feel more alienated or lost when information and activity is so close at hand? The answer lies within our ties to community. The physical and mental needs to feel part of a tribe is as old as our genetics themselves.

Please don’t be the neighbor next door. The one that I’ve known for 18 years but looks down when I drive by. The one that still separates Ticos from Gringos and harbors resentment because of the location in which we were born. It is important that we strive be excellent examples for our friends and family to see. Small acts of kindness can show love and respect to those around us. Picking up random litter from the ground (or beach) goes much farther then the few seconds it takes. When our pets choose to relieve themselves anywhere but in our own yards due diligence for the community is to clean it up. I know one day everyone will feel this way. Selflessly helping someone change a flat tire or giving someone a free ride – these are examples of being neighborly. When my wife and I bake or cook we go extra on the portion. What says love, respect, and kindness more than bringing an unsuspecting friend a meal? With very little expense it is kind and caring to share a little of everything we have. Tomorrow may bring untold sorrow and your “plan” may not go as intended, that is this journey of life we are all sharing, no matter where you live or no matter where you are from.

I want to be your neighbor next door. I want to be in the tribe that is strong because of togetherness. Our people will be loyal and positive, weathering the hard days as easily as the smooth ones. Living judgement free and knowing when to be silent, when to simply listen. As individuals we can be more autonomous, our tribe can self govern and we will agree to their rules as they are our rules. We will know we are a part of the whole. When we actively engage in a cause our lives have more purpose, we are more motivated. Our mental and physical health will improve, our ability to be disciplined will strengthen. Our entire existence will be validated as we work to improve ourselves for our families, neighbors, and community. There are age old truths that exist for reasons about the connections that we have with others. Simplifying our lives to solely serving others around us is valid and righteous. If you the reader do not feel a basic human instinct to help those around you it may behoove you to figure out why. That, my neighbors, is what this life is all about.

(Todd Pequeen is a pioneer of the spa industry here in Manuel Antonio since 2000. He works independently at his tree top home studio or at your location and can be reached at 8830-7727 or at [email protected]. His free time is spent reading, writing, surfing, traveling, and spreading the love.)