Our neighbors had a party last night, a loud party with music blaring. We weren’t invited but this was one of those (admittedly rare) occasions where I didn’t mind. They are a bunch of young, single guys and I would have felt out of place. They are all observant and they were very responsive last week when I knocked on their door to ask if they could participate in our shiva minyan.

Their taste in music was somewhat unexpected (was that electronic dance music?) but more unexpected was the way they behaved. One of the young men came over earlier in the day to “warn” us of the upcoming event. That was unusual and courteous step one.

Even more amazing was what they did next. “Here’s my cell number,” offered our neighbor. “Text me if it gets too noisy.”

Wow! That was a level of consideration I don’t think I’ve experience in all my (many) years of having and being a neighbor! I’ve heard lots of loud parties – parties where the music kept us from falling asleep, parties where said music blared long into the night, parties where my husband had to get dressed after midnight and go ask them (he tried to do it nicely) to please turn down the music, parties where they listened and parties where they didn’t, parties where we had to call the police.

But this was a first – neighbors who cared what we thought, neighbors who wanted to be considerate of our needs.

This was a first – neighbors who cared what we thought, neighbors who wanted to be considerate of our needs.

And you know what? It really worked in their favor. We both felt so much more favorably disposed towards them that even when the event went past the promised end time, even when the music reached unanticipated decibels, even when we couldn’t get through on the aforementioned cell number, we didn’t mind.

We didn’t get dressed and march over. We certainly didn't consider calling the police. We knew that they would stop within a reasonable time of when they said. We knew they would answer eventually and be responsive.

It takes such little effort to make people feel heard, that they matter. And because it was our first such experience, it left an impact. It made me look at my neighbors in a different way. It made me want to call their mothers to give them nachas and ask them for tips.

And it takes such little effort to get people on your side.

Everyone needs to let loose every now and then, especially in these uniquely trying times. But people who do it without infringing on the needs of others are few and far between. I hadn’t fully noticed my neighbors until this week. We had adopted that all too American “live and let live” posture. But now I see them in a new light and with greater appreciation.

They didn’t just bring noise to the neighborhood; they shone the light of kindness and thoughtfulness.