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Being a Good Neighbor – Does It Matter?

By Cindy Williams August 26, 2022 Lifestyle

Frankly, as I typed out the subject line “being a good neighbor,” scenes of old TV shows passed through my mind, reminiscent of neighbors on shows like Leave It to Beaver or My Three Sons bringing casseroles over to new neighbors or neighbors in need. Those of you 60 and older may have the same memories; however, those of you who are younger may wonder what the heck I am talking about!

The Good Ol’ Neighbors of Times Past

So you see, my older memories envision a new family moving into a neighborhood being showered with food dishes or possibly plants by nearby neighbors. While presently I see people moving into a neighborhood and not being approached at all by neighbors.

The same scenario applies to a sick neighbor or neighbors in need. My memories envision neighbors bringing over food or flowers to help. In a nutshell, it appears that our neighbors today trend on staying to themselves, possibly due to being busy, being self-absorbed or just trying to be careful and not get involved.

Newest Neighbor Experience

Of course, there are exceptions to our present day neighborhood trends of staying to ourselves and for that I am immensely thrilled! A recent experience I had with some new neighbors of ours demonstrates what neighbors should be like.

For example, our new neighbor went above and beyond by offering to maintain our pool while we were away. In addition, his wife shared beautiful plants with us to grow and even gave me a new set of garden gloves and clippers.

Yes, giving the gift of time takes a bit out of their lives, but from what I can plainly see, these new neighbors are a bright and shining light in our world. Other neighbors nearby also speak kindly and respect these neighbors, and I am sure it is because they have been recipients of the same kindness we received.

Living in a Neighborhood Requires Mutual Respect

A neighborhood can be broadly defined as a number of persons living near one another. Neighborhoods can be a small, one street subdivision or may be a large development containing a thousand or more homes. Regardless of the size, it is important to all of us to realize we need to make an effort to recognize that our neighbors are people like us, and we should respect and care for each other.

Are we really too busy to say “hello” to a new or existing neighbor and see if they need help with anything? Are we so self-absorbed in our own family lives to take the time to see if a new or existing neighbor may be struggling with something?

Or are we so cautious that we don’t want to get involved in any form or fashion with a new or existing neighbor for fear of costing us time or money or being perceived as a busy body? Maybe we are not accomplished cooks and cannot or should not bring over a casserole as in the TV sitcoms mentioned, but simple gestures of kindness and time are easy to accomplish and will make a difference!

My New Perspective on Neighbors

I will admit that I can answer yes to all three of the questions above at different times in my life, but I am strongly working to change that, and I hope that you can do that too! Today and everyday forward, I am never too busy to raise by hand, smile and wave to say hello to everyone I see in and around my neighborhood.

I am never going to be so worried about my family and their lives that I cannot take the time to see if a neighbor might need some help from me with something. And I vow to continue to “get involved” if I need to in order to stand up for a neighbor or neighbors if they need assistance. If we do not look out for and respect one another, who will respect and look out for us?

Do you have what you think are good neighbors? Do your neighbors stay to themselves and do not get involved? Do you wave and smile if you see a neighbor out? How can we all improve ourselves to be better neighbors?

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I tend to be stand-offish after neighbors comment that my husband doesn’t help me with outside tasks. His crutches are not fashion accessories, and many physical tasks aren’t possible for him.

Cindy Williams

Spring…..As a couple I bet you both contribute pretty equally in taking care of your home in your own ways. I, for one, mow our five acre lot weekly because I like to mow while my husband may be inside doing home repairs that I have no clue how to do. I admire any of my neighbors taking pride in their home!


I have 5 close neighbors. I know the names of two. One neighbor is a chef and I give him herbs I grow in my garden. His kids are not yet teens. Another neighbor has grown kids and assorted other adults living or visiting and we say hello once in awhile. The third one is an elderly couple and we chat sometimes. The 4th one’s backyard is diagonally across the street from me and he yells hello and comments positively on our gardens out front. The 5th neighbor ignores all attempts of mine to be friendly. They even planted trees and tall bushes and erected a fence so they have completely enclosed their yard from all neighbors. I think they are in a witness protection program. Anyway, it seems to me that my neighbors represent the wide range of all neighbors and I just go with the flow. It is odd that the friendliest and least friendliest live on either side of me sharing boundaries.

Cindy Williams

Paula… have an interesting mix of neighbors that can make a neighborhood great! Granted one neighbor may prefer to be alone, but on the bright side that neighbor does not appear to be a nuisance to the neighborhood. You sound like a wonderful neighbor by sharing herbs and taking time to visit and say hello to others!


I clean rubbish in nearby greens so it looks nice for everyone but not a particularly friendly neighbour

Cindy Williams

Colette…..neighbors that show pride of ownership and take the time to keep areas clean are great neighbors to have. I truly understand if a neighbor may not want to be outwardly friendly and admire and appreciate them from afar for taking pride in the neighborhood.


Neighbors were more friendly in days past. Younger ones have different issues these days. Politics are a harsher difference for one.

Cindy Williams

Kathleen…..I tend to agree with you that in days past neighbors were closer to one another. Though social media does create some negative issues, it does contribute to keeping neighbors informed and brings them together for events as evidenced by other comments made here. I am hopeful that as time goes on we will all become closer with our neighbors as in days past and realize we are all here for each other!


I live on a plot and it is important to know your neighbours and have contact with them so we created a gardening group and a dinner club group

Cindy Williams

Sheryl….gardening groups and dinner clubs bring out everyone’s common interests. What a great way to bond with your neighbors! Thank you for sharing!


i live in a fairly large city. Right after COVID started, our block began a Friday night happy hour. At first, we were in our lawn chairs in front of our houses talking across the street. As we got further into COVID, we gathered together masked and 6’ across. Then vaccinated we relaxed distance and masks. We continue to meet every Friday, year round. We are there for each other thru all of life’s events and challenges including embracing new neighbors.

Cindy Williams

Jan…..that is awesome! What a great neighborhood you must have and a great story to share how Covid brought out the good in your neighborhood! Thank you for sharing your story!


Hi Jan😊.I’m moving next a brand new block of apartments. I’ll copy your idea cz I think it is just great!! Friday night Happy Hour 💕💕💕!!
I,ll be the First in the building ☺️.. I’ve already got it signed and sealed. Just in time for a fantastic summer!

The Author

Cindy Williams, investor and recently retired 40-plus-year TN-licensed real estate broker/appraiser, enjoys empowering people. Cindy has written articles for local newspapers, co-hosted a radio talk show, owned/operated a dirt race track and looks forward to more adventures. Any questions are welcomed at

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