Monday, March 9, 2020

The Importance of Being a Good Neighbor


I grew up in a neighborhood where we all knew each other. My parents still live there now and there are still some OG neighbors but many have moved. I'll get out of my car when I get to my parents and if some of the neighbors are also outside, they stop and chat and always say hi.

On the side of the refrigerator hung a list of phone numbers of all of our neighbor's numbers and at some point, I started to have those numbers memorized. We had block parties, we would run around until it got dark and then our moms would yell for us around dinner time. We would go knock on our neighbor's doors to see what kids were home and if they could play. We walked to and from school together and we carpooled as we got older. Our street lit luminaries at Christmas and always had 'special' Halloween candy for the kids on the street. We would even get together and go door to door singing Christmas carols. If this picture I am painting sounds idyllic, well, it really was.

Our street had a 'mayor' as we called her who organized all sorts of stuff and would disseminate the news to everyone about everything. Sadly, she just passed away (she was truly one of the nicest human beings ever) and it made my heart hurt and really inspired me to write this post.

Having good neighbors is so important and as I get older, it has become even clearer to me just how important it is. 

When we moved into our house last year, we didn't know anyone in the neighborhood. I actually could not believe how quickly I started to see familiar faces, saying hi to people, and more. The neighborhood just feels friendly. Everyone was out all summer walking their dogs, kids running all over the neighborhood. Block parties were organized, I was added to the neighborhood Facebook page, and I truly started to get that feeling of community.

We have become close friends with our next-door neighbors and I often thank my lucky stars for them. We have dinners with them, I go over and hang out with them and their adorable baby. Our dogs have 'best friends' charms on their collars (LOL!).

We have almost lived here a year and I get that similar feeling that I had felt all of my life growing up. The camaraderie, the feeling that we all share this similar address and that somehow it unites us.

In saying all of this, one of my goals, in general, is to be a good neighbor. It kind of sounds like some 1950's Mad Men goal, but I think it is so important to be helpful, friendly, kind, and respectful to those around you. You never know when you might need something, too! I love this Ted Talk about the topic-it's such a good one. 

I don't think 'being a good neighbor' is just a suburban thing. It doesn't matter where or what type of dwelling you live in but it's really more of a broad attitude of making an effort to care for those around you and to be kind. I hope this post helps to inspire you to be a good neighbor- whatever that might mean to you! 

5 comments:

just ask beth said...

a GREAT Post!

Karen said...

So true! Good neighbors in today’s world are important. Reach out to that stay at home mom or elderly widow(er). Keep an eye on the working couples house during the day. We must care and be interested in those around us as one day we may be the widow or widower and we see how much it means and meant. Off soapbox now 😉

Karen said...

So true! Good neighbors in today’s world are important. Reach out to that stay at home mom or elderly widow(er). Keep an eye on the working couples house during the day. We must care and be interested in those around us as one day we may be the widow or widower and we see how much it means and meant. Off soapbox now 😉

Kelly said...

I love this!!! We live in a neighborhood with a lot of older couples and that's been lovely, because they've stepped in as our "families close by" when we have questions about landscaping, home projects, etc. Sadly our across-the-street neighbors moved last year but we still adore many of our others. Excited to move this summer to Charleston and find out who our new neighbors will be! I think there's much to be said for a sense of true community with the people near by!

Andra said...

I love this post. You just don't hear about this kind of thing anymore. Way back in my parents day it was called "good citizenship". Thank you for bringing this back to the forefront. We live in a microwave society where everything is right now. It doesn't take but a few seconds to say "hi" to your neighbors and a "how are you?". I live in a condo complex in Florida and we have that here. Great post!

 

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