Won’t You be my Neighbor?

Nesting, hibernating, cocooning, or whatever term you coined to describe your life during COVID, hopefully, it’s coming to an end! This new beginning brings opportunity to heighten our awareness of being neighborly.  While there are myriad ways to be a good neighbor, a few ways rise to the top of the list. Among those are:

  1. Keep your yard neat, tidy, and well-trimmed. Pick up any stray paper or rubbish that escaped your refuse container. If you don’t, the wind will likely blow it into your neighbor’s yard; it will still detract from the look of the collective community, and thus detracts, however slightly, from your home value.
  2. Good neighbors are thoughtful of the amount of noise coming from their home or yard. If your neighbor has a baby who is sick or always naps between 2-4 PM, if your schedule allows, give that mom a break, and don’t wake the baby. That makes for a cranky baby, and an even crankier neighbor!
  3. Speaking of cranky neighbors, this will get most neighbors cranky in a hurry… a barking dog. Your neighbors aren’t likely to be as fond of your dog as you are, and they definitely won’t be fond of her barking.
  4. And then there is this. This! Pick up after your pet. We’ve all likely had the experience of stepping in pet poo. Nothing brings forth a litany of naughty words much quicker! ‘Nuff said! Pack the poo all the way back to your house, even if your neighbor’s refuse can is handier!
  5. A quick “hello,” a warm smile, and a wave are all that are needed to create and maintain a friendly community. In this age of so much social media, one of the upsides is the creation of community platforms that allow everyone to share the names of the best electrician or plumber in town or to let everyone know a large pack of javelinas are on the loose in the neighborhood.  One of the downsides of such platforms, however, is that bruised egos can result in lightning-fast retorts, and responses fired off before all the facts are known; this can result in hurt feelings and neighbors “taking sides.” Consider speaking directly with your neighbor if you have a concern.
  6. Lastly, words and actions have tremendous power. Be respectful of others in your neighborhood in all you say and do.  Say “hello,” and get to know your neighbors.  Speak well of your neighbors and your community. Today may be the perfect day to start.  Who knows, you may have a new friend and neighbor!