Assumptions, a Mean Letter and a Lesson Learned

An Alabama mother encountered a rude letter in her mailbox explaining that her wild lawn needed to be cut. 

The letter said, “Your eyesore is affecting the resale value of our homes,” the note states. “Who wants to buy a house near you and look at that daily? It does not take that much effort.”

Randa Ragland was reluctant to share the letter to a private group on Facebook but wanted people to think before they act. 

Oh, those assumptions and judgments that we make.

See, her son Jaxen was diagnosed with stage-4 neuroblastoma in October 2018 before turning three. The family is in turmoil, working with doctors to save his life. Jaxen has been in the hospital 20 times and underwent seven surgeries as well.

So, no, the grass was not a priority.

“I say all of this to say. Try being kind to your neighbor or the stranger you let in when there’s traffic. Say hello to people. Just kindness. It’s crazy how things like this can truly change a person. Because just a year ago. I would [have] been so angry from this note. But I truly don’t have the energy for that kind of negativity,” she wrote. “Maybe the owner of this note might see this. And maybe not. But either way, I feel this might touch someone and that is enough in itself,” Ragland told Yahoo! Lifestyle.

She wasn’t the only one disturbed by the letter. Shortly after the message hit Facebook, people arrived at her house bringing baby supplies, food, landscaping services and above all, hope.

This account was convicting. How many times did I judge someone when I didn’t have all the facts? Worse, is taking action about something that could negatively impact another person. I’ve passed yards on the block where I thought: “Why don’t they care to mow?” I never sent a letter, but what if that happened or made a snarky comment? 

We never know what another person is dealing with. They could be elderly, sick or could be out of town. Next time, I will pause before condemning another person. 

Ragland’s neighbor was uncivil and reacted out of anger. If they stopped by the house and talked to her, they would’ve discovered the truth. Perhaps, they could’ve offered to help.

Jesus said and it’s a great reminder: “Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.”

-Corine Gatti-Santillo

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