Love Thy Neighbor

There is nothing better than having a relationship with your neighbors that create a “village” atmosphere.  Every address I have ever lived; I always had great relationships with my neighbors. We looked out for one another regularly and kept a watchful eye out for our children.  I can remember when I was a child how my parent’s and grandparent’s neighbors were also my disciplinarians.  They made sure I wasn’t doing anything disrespectful or wrong in the area.  My current situation is still that way!!! I just love my neighbors!!!

But some people don’t like you to correct their child or watch out for them because they prefer you to mind your business.  Others are just plain old anti-social or mean.  They don’t want to engage with anyone let alone be bothered with children in their neighborhood.  Watching an episode of “Fear Thy Neighbor”  made me reflect on some things that are missing in our society.

Having a kind spirit and disposition should always be upheld when you have neighbors.  You should be able to speak to your neighbors when you see them.  Saying “good morning/evening”, “how are you doing today?”, and “have a good day” should be in your vocabulary. Even if your neighbor is anti-social or doesn’t have manners, you should still return pleasurable comments towards them.  One day they may break out their shell.  I can recall when I moved to my very first house, there was a married couple on both sides of me.  No matter how many times I would speak, the women wouldn’t speak back.  But on Mother’s Day, I sent them both Mother’s Day cards.  What do you know, they began to speak and soon became pleasant.  Their children were able to come over and play with my daughter!!!

If your neighbor needs help; you should be there to assist.  I am not saying pay their bills or keep their home from being foreclosed, but if they need you to watch their home, collect their mail, or pull their trash can to the house when on vacation, you should be willing to assist.  My neighbors always look out for my home when I am not there.  If they are sick and shut-in, you should at least check on them from time to time. Especially if your neighbor is elderly, single woman, or disabled.  No one wants to be alone when they are sick or unable to watch for themselves.  My close neighbors have that type of relationship with me.  If anyone of us goes out-of-town, we let someone know if we can’t get a family member to assist.  We also build a trusting relationship that if anyone is sick or need assistance, we will not hesitate to assist one another.

Invite your neighbors to your cookout sometimes. Whether they come or not, nothing is wrong with a little fellowship from time-to-time.  You will be surprised at how many of your neighbors can cook or provide that infamous dish and cocktail!!!!

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Respect your neighbors’ boundaries/home. Always be mindful of your neighbor’s home/boundaries.  Never overstep them.  Always keep your neighborhood nice and clean.  No one likes to come to trash and poor upkeep outside the neighborhood.  It brings down the house value for not only you but your neighbors too.  If you keep an untidy yard, then it is hard for your neighbors to gain equity or even rent out to prospective clients.  Have you ever seen “Hoarders”? Most of them kept the outside looking fabulous, but once they went inside it was total chaos.  Respect your neighbors right to want to live in a clean and safe area.  If you have young children, try to encourage them to stay out of neighbor’s yards that may not want children around their home.  If you know your neighbor doesn’t like you cutting grass at 5 am; try to be respectful. Lastly, make sure your guest doesn’t park their car blocking your neighbor’s driveway!!  I have seen some serious issues occur when the neighbor called the police instead of kindly walking over to the neighbor’s home because of fear haha!!! If you build up a respectful relationship with your neighbors, you should never feel afraid to at least give them a heads up.  Plus, the police can go back to catching speeders!!

Nothing is more refreshing than actually having a village that gets along and grows with your family.  Think about your childhood and how important it was to grow up with neighborhood friends/children.  How about those fantastic neighborhood cookouts? The best fellowship ever!!! Nothing like loving your neighbors!!