I am going to share with you how you can make your neighbourhood better, one day at a time- just by being a good neighbour. Really simple but oh so doable.
Where I come from, being a good neighbour helps a whole lot and I have fond memories living on Logan Lane and Rosemount in Linstead, St Catherine, Jamaica. I can still remember all the faces, even if I don’t remember all the names.
Being a good neighbour sometimes saves you money, gives peace of mind and definitely makes for a more cohesive world. I knew almost all the people who lived in the vicinity (except of course if someone new had moved in). We were invited to each other’s homes for most events celebrated and in fact, it was quite inevitable that one would at some time or the other need to ask ones neighbour to safe keep something in their fridge or freezer on one or more of these occasions when it seemed one had to ‘cater for the whole community’.
To be honest, for the most part I like the ‘feel’ of my present community. I’ve done what I can to improve its feel so the same tips I am offering to you now I am going to adopt for myself (some I already do by the way).
- Take their garbage out – if your neighbour is old, ill, disabled or heavily pregnant, certainly this is something you can do for them. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
- Collect their bin/garbage receptacle. If nothing else, they’ll respect you for doing this ‘dirty’ job for them. We recently began to use wheelie bins and for the first few times I noticed that my bin was returned to its place by the time I got home from work. Since most of the other bins still remained on the pavement, I thought how nice it was of my neighbour to do me that favour. One day as I returned home from work, I was surprised to see my daughter who had just got home from school, dragging the bin back to the house! Lol. She had been doing it all along and I had a warm fuzzy feeling thinking it was my neighbour.
- Make the effort to make conversation. Even when my neighbours look away as we approach each other, I still make the effort to say something, anything. Even if it’s a day when rain is pummelling the earth, I’d say something like ‘good morning, what a beautiful day’ you are most likely to get a response even if it’s a grunt. It’s a start. Before long you will start conversing but the ice has to be broken somehow so be the one to break it.
- Offer your help if you think it is needed. I know we are suspicious beings, but that’s ok. It’s just a part of human nature. In the life cycle of a family, we know there are times when families could do with some help. It may be transport for a wedding, something special for a christening or even some support during bereavement.
- Collect their package. We’ve all had the post man leave a ‘sorry we missed you card’ for a package that they tried to deliver whilst you were out! Bugger! I’ve told my neighbours I will collect their package if ever I am in and requested that they do the same for me. This helps to build trust.(plus the mail man will leave a note to say where your package is.).
- Welcome your new neighbour to the community. Help them to feel safe and accepted. Let them know that there is at least one friendly face around, and let them be pleasantly surprised when all the other neighbours start to do the same. It might seem daunting at first but fight the fear and make the effort. My welcome speech goes something like, ‘hi, welcome to the community. I’m Leisa and I live at number 3′. I’ve never had anything but a pleasant response. Try it!
- Just be neighbourly, Think about the feelings of others. Don’t play your stereo, radio or TV too loud, alert them if you are going to have lots of people over for a party, ask them to remove their laundry from outside if you plan to fire up your barbecue….just those simple things that show you are a considerate neighbour.
So some sure, tested ways to become a better neighbour and create more harmony where you live. Remember my post about doing good deeds? Go try them out and it would be good to hear what the response is. Do you think you are a good neighbour? Have you got some ghastly neighbour stories? Hope not!
Remember to challenge yourself to be a better person each day. Do you think you could manage the lemon challenge? Read, sign up and see!