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!
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.
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.
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!
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?