An open letter to my neighbor


Dear Neighbor,

Today, whether you know it or not, I was extremely disrespectful to you and I owe you an apology. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it until it was too late. When I did realize it, my heart just sank because what I did goes totally against what I believe.

Today I had my furnace and AC unit inspected and tuned up. I also signed up for the plan where they’ll come out in the winter too and I get a discount for paying for both at the same time. They have pretty decent marketing and sales techniques. They called me a couple weeks ago and told me it was about time for a tune up. I agreed because I noticed the AC was being weird on a recent hot and humid night. So I set an appointment.

After I shook the guy’s hand I watched from my front door his colorful company van back out of the driveway. Your corner house was in my peripheral and it was at that moment it hit me. I pictured your van which was just out of view. It isn’t adorned all over with the large logos and patterns but it has a smaller magnetic sign on both doors using the same colors! The same work van I see nearly everyday with the sign that says Darryl’s Heating and Cooling. You had told me on more than one occasion about how you work your full time job in the day and run your business afterward and on the weekends and even gave me your card inviting me to call whenever I need something. I needed something and I didn’t call.

Let me tell you why this hurts my heart so much. I believe in the idea of community. A community is only as strong as the unity of its members. Your are my neighbor. I believe that paying for your service will help you to keep up your property which protects not only yours but also my property value. The same is true of using any locally based business. I believe in the power of spending my money locally. More importantly, from both of these concepts, I believe in the power of group economics among Black People. Simply put, this spending our money with each other as much as possible before letting it go outside of our group. We generally don’t have a very high “bounce rate” with our dollars but I believe that if I can begin to mindfully seek out the Black alternative, and convince others to do the same, we would be better off as a group as well as individually. We would be able to leave our full time jobs working for other groups and devote our time to our own success.

I wasn’t being mindful when I decided to go with the “Experts” instead of seeking out the Expert that could benefit me the most. You should have had the FIRST opportunity to have my business but didn’t and for this I extend my deepest apology to you and hope that you can accept it.


-Handsome Black

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