Hey neighbor! Did you know that the word neighbor comes from the old English word neahgebur, where neah means "near" and gebur means "inhabitant." On this day, September 28th, we celebrate good neighbor day. Why celebrate good neighbors? Well, having good neighbors truly makes life better don’t ya think? If you've ever had an amazing neighbor, you know exactly what I mean. If you have ever had not-so-great neighbors, then you understand the value of having good ones.
We have had the pleasure of having some great neighbors, but there is one in particular that will always remain at the top of our list. When we first moved into our home almost 10 years ago, Billy was one of the first people to introduce himself and welcome us to the neighborhood. He remembered our names, always greeted us with a smile, and would kindly tell us when one of our car doors was left wide open! (and it happened pretty often!!)
If we were missing a key ingredient to a meal we were preparing, we knew that we could reach out to our good ole' neighbor Billy! We just made sure that whatever we were making was able to be shared with him at the end!! This neighbor always looked out for us-but I guess he had no choice since he lived directly across the street. Billy started out as just our neighbor-but ended up becoming more like family over the years. We always felt good knowing he was looking out for us and our home. He is truly an example of the best neighbor you could ask for. His loyalty, kindness, and consideration of us over the years has reset the standard for what a great neighbor is. Here's to wishing that we could always have, and be, good neighbors (like Billy).
Here are 5 (easy) ways to be a good neighbor:
1) Know their name(s) and connect. Approximately 28% of Americans don't know any of their neighbors' names! So a great way to celebrate Neighbors Day is to introduce yourself and connect with others that you may not yet know in your neighborhood. It all starts by saying, hello!
2) Celebrate. Have an old fashioned block party, to bring families together and have fun! Coordinate a block sale in your neighborhood (we loved having an annual garage sale and it was a great way to learn more about our neighbors).
3) Look for ways to serve your neighbors. For a neighbor who is ill or just had a baby, maybe offer to pick them up something they need at the store or offer to help an elderly neighbor with yard/housework. Lend them tools that they might need. Take down or bring back their trash or recycling to/from the curb, without them asking. Always look for opportunities to do good or lend a helping hand
4) Double your dinner or dessert and share it. There's been many times when I have made a pot of soup or a batch of cookies and would reach out to a neighbor to see if they would like to enjoy some too. Rarely has anyone turned this down!! If you're not big into cooking, you could bring out a cold drink on a hot day when you see your neighbor working hard outside!
5) Watch out for one another. This is one of the best things we can do as neighbors. Doesn't take much to keep an eye out for your neighbors! You will feel so reassured when they do the same for your family! Keep your eyes and ears open, stay attentive and aware of the security of your neighbors and their homes.
If you want to have good neighbors, you first need to be a good neighbor. Wishing everyone a very happy Good Neighbor day!!