Voice of the people: Paul Mack




Appreciates Columbus neighborhood


I have said for years that I live in the best neighborhood ever. I expect to still be saying it years from now. And I will still be right where I am now if I do.


I have lived all over the US - California, Arizona, Louisiana, New York, Georgia, and Mississippi along with a year in Brazil and visiting 13 other countries. All told, I've been part of 19 or 20 different neighborhoods, a fair number of data points for comparison.



Point of fact: I am retired. I could leave my neighborhood, Columbus, our state. But I don't. There are so many things that I value here; my neighbors are chief among them. They are emblematic of our town, our region - and they factor tremendously in how I view where I live.


Quite simply, I find my neighbors to be the kindest, most decent group that I have ever lived among. They have had my family's 'back' over and over again throughout our 14 years here; I sincerely hope the feeling is mutual. True, my neighbors have long ago realized that I can't diagnose their electrical problem or fix their plumbing. But we will gladly collect their mail, water their plants, lend them a ladder, tool, mower, or keep an eye on their house while they're away. I'll even come with jumper cables wherever they need me. They do the same for us and more. None of us are perfect but we all have something to offer and we offer it. And then they follow through. It's wonderful.


At the same time, many of my neighbors are aware of my strong political views. Thankfully, but rightly, I think, that is not how they decide what to think of either me or my family members. It is the same in return - in many cases, I don't even know my neighbors' politics. In my view, neither one's personal politics nor their religion have anything to do with how you earn my respect and good will. They have nothing to do with whether one is a good neighbor or a good person.


No matter what I ever say about the state of the nation, Mississippi, or Columbus, I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have landed here - in this neighborhood, in this town, and in this state. The past 14 years have been unquestionably the best period of my life. My neighbors make each of my days better. The good will I feel from the great majority I encounter as I venture out into town color each day as well. These little things are really not so little at all.


In fact, they are the critical reasons why 'here' feels like home - the best place that I have ever lived.


Paul Mack






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