In the event of a disaster, an abundance of resources is usually just outside your door. Unfortunately, someone you know might not be so friendly in return. What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
Being a good neighbor is something that we should always strive to do. We are not just making our communities better, but also ourselves. Quotes like “being a good neighbor quotes” help us understand how to be the best people we can be.
I had a gap year between college and graduate school during which I worked in a restaurant, snow skied whenever I could, and attempted to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. During that year, I shared a large old suburban home by the lake with five to eight other males and, depending on the month, one female.
We had a great time that year. Sports vehicles and motorbikes were parked in our driveway. We cooked most of our meals on the grill and listened to music at maximum volume. We ascended onto the roof at night and smoked cigars while daydreaming about our futures. We would sometimes set off firecrackers merely to make our barbarous YAWP sound.
When a loud knock came on the front door one night, we were launching bottle rockets from an upper window. It was our next-door neighbor, and he was irritated to say the least. He stated that his roof was constructed of cedar shakes, and he was frightened that one of our wayward bottle rockets might burn down his home. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please
Certainly, sure, we replied, and we called a halt to the festivities for the evening. To his face, we were courteous. But once he went, we all agreed that our next-door neighbor was just a troubled old man whose only concern in life was ruining our good time.
Let’s go forward twenty years.
In many respects, I’ve become that neighbor. If a band of ruffians moved in across the street and started throwing bottle rockets at my home, I’d walk over and respectfully ask them to stop.
Between the days of being a guy and the days of becoming a man, something changes. An immature guy views his neighborhood as nothing more than a place to put his hat when it comes to where he lives. A mature guy, on the other hand, views his neighborhood as a place he contributes to shape.
Every man’s best interest is to reside in the nicest possible community. I don’t mean a gated enclave full of McMansions when I say “greatest neighborhood.” I’m referring to a neighborhood where people have a strong sense of belonging, identification, empathy, and understanding.
To do so, you must first learn to be a decent neighbor. But how do you do it?
I edited Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon’s book The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door a few years ago. Runyon works for the Denver Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps municipal governments, businesses, and faith-based leaders unite around common causes. Pathak is a pastor in Denver, Colorado, and Runyon works for the Denver Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps municipal governments, businesses, and faith-based leaders unite around common causes.
Pathak and Runyon got the idea for the book one day in 2009, when they gathered a group of twenty leaders to brainstorm ways to better serve their communities. They were joined by Bob Frie, mayor of Arvada (one of the communities in the larger Denver region), and the group asked Frie a simple question: How can we best work together to serve our city?
The conversation that followed showed a laundry list of socioeconomic issues that many cities suffer, including at-risk children, places with outdated housing, child starvation, drug and alcohol addiction, loneliness, and elderly shut-ins with no one to care after them. The list might go on forever.
The mayor then said something that brought the conversation to a halt. “If we could simply find out a way to create a community of terrific neighbors, the bulk of the difficulties that our community is experiencing would be eradicated or greatly reduced.”
If you need to, go through the quote again. Its consequences might have a significant impact on your life.
Because neighbour ties are organic and continuous, Frie believes they are more beneficial than municipal initiatives. When neighbors get along, for example, the elderly shut-ins are looked after by the person next door, the at-risk youngster is mentored by a father who lives down the street, and so forth.
The gathering was moved by the mayor’s comments. They started a city-wide program to assist individuals understand these concepts and then put them into practice where they lived. The Art of Neighboring was the name of their effort. These are some of the results of their research.
1. Having a positive, proactive perspective is the first step in being a good neighbor.
In their book, Runyon and Pathak write, “The answers to the issues in our communities aren’t ultimately found in the government, police, schools, or persuading more people to attend to church.” “We are the ones who have the answers. It is within our ability to be good neighbors, to care for our neighbors and to be cared for by our neighbors.”
That’s where it all starts when it comes to being a nice neighbor. It all starts with a man’s mindset. Instead of considering his home as just a location where he hangs his hat, he comes to see it as a place where he has power. He understands that it is up to him to improve things.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, agrees. He showed how even tiny actions done or left undone in a community may propel crime rates up or down, based on the “broken windows” notion initially expressed some decades ago.
When rubbish isn’t cleaned up, graffiti lingers on a wall or fence, or a window is broken but not replaced, Gladwell said, it may all signal that a community is deteriorating. People tend to react socially with less care when their exterior settings seem to be deteriorating, which increases the risk of greater crime.
The inverse is also true. Positive acts may trigger a chain reaction of improvement, just as gaps in indications of care and concern can start off an escalation in deterioration. As a result, a good neighbor’s thinking is focused on how he can improve his area, and he tries to solve issues while they are still little, nipping them in the bud. He has a strong feeling of belonging, views his neighborhood as a mirror of himself, and is aware that his activities have an impact on others. He starts by being a good neighbor in little ways, taking on the duty of building an environment in which he—and others—wish to live.
2. The most basic approach to be a nice neighbor is to smile, wave, and get to know people’s names.
I went out on a stroll the other day when I saw a man approaching me on the street. Like he passed, I gave him a nod and said, “Good morning,” as I do anytime I see someone in my area. The young guy, on the other hand, did not even glance at me or reply in any way.
He was wearing a rucksack with the name of our town’s community college on it, which gave me a hint about his aloof demeanor. He could have had a test that morning and was preoccupied with the task at hand. He may not have heard me, or he may have been in a terrible mood and didn’t want to answer.
But I have a feeling it was something far simpler. I’m not sure of his precise age, but he was probably about 18 or 19, and I believe he was thinking more like a kid than a man.
In today’s world, youngsters are trained to avoid conversing with strangers. I would definitely advise my 10-year-old daughter to ignore, if not run away, a 44-year-old stranger who said good morning to her as she waited for the school bus.
Adult neighbors, on the other hand, need to be retaught how to interact with strangers, at least when it comes to those who live close by. I make it a point to grin and wave when a vehicle goes down my neighborhood while I’m outdoors mowing the grass. I observe a lot of other grownups acting in the same way.
Proactive friendliness is the seed of good neighborliness. It entails creating a nice encounter with everyone you meet. Smiling, waving, and learning your neighbors’ names are the most basic ways to do so. Take them an apple pie if they move in next door. If your neighbor is going out of town, volunteer to keep an eye on his house while he is gone.
3. Being a good neighbor entails treating people the way you would want to be treated.
When my wife and I initially purchased our home a few years ago, we became close friends with our next-door neighbors, a couple our age. We’d have supper together, converse over the fence, even mow each other’s lawns while we were out of town.
They were the heavenly neighbors.
Then they left and were replaced by another pair. The wife was pleasant, but the male was a complete jerk. There’s no nice way of putting it. He was obnoxious and unpleasant, making noise all night, throwing crazy parties, and leaving empty beer bottles on his front yard. Other neighbors would really complain to us, their closest neighbors, and urge us to do anything about it. Cowards.
They were the devil’s neighbors.
The idea is that when you live in close quarters with other people, you might run into a variety of relationship problems. No neighborhood is flawless, and living with others needs tact, timing, knowledge, forgiveness, limits, and, at times, bravery.
Still, being a nice neighbor is the greatest way to establish a good neighborhood. As an adult, you may live in a suburban neighborhood, a rural location, or a metropolitan apartment, but the same idea applies: your actions will have an impact on others, and their actions will have an impact on you.
This indicates that you are aware of your behavior. You discover you are no longer a member of a fraternity. You raise up the volume on your music so that it can’t be heard outside your house. If your yard is not fenced, you must clean up after your dog and keep him on a leash. The same day your garbage is picked up, you bring your trash cans back into the garage.
When it comes to where you reside, you have a role in establishing the tone.
Because I haven’t spoken with Runyan and Pathak in a long time, I am unaware of all the great developments that have occurred from their endeavor. But I do know that news about being a nice neighbor spread quickly, and a flood of happy tales flowed in. Other towns and states have started to adopt the approach. Mayors, local administrators, and police officers have sent letters to the writers outlining how the project is paying off.
Block parties were hosted, community movie nights were conducted, single moms were aided with free food and diapers, and neighbors who were diagnosed with cancer were given weeks of free meals.
Many of the tales were about tiny, everyday encounters. One guy wrote to tell that while his neighbors were away on vacation, he shoveled their driveway. He’d never said anything to his neighbors before, but now they all grin and greet him.
Runyon and Pathak got an e-mail from Vicky Reir, their assistant city manager, about a year after the campaign started, saying:
Jay and Dave:
For the last thirteen years, I’ve worked at the city manager’s office. This is the first time in my memory that I have gone a complete winter without getting a single request for help shoveling a driveway. No one has called for assistance for themselves or an aged parent. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I’m wondering whether it’s related to the nearby movement. I suppose there’s no way to tell for sure, but I hoped this might give you some hope.
“Great things happen when individuals who live near one other develop closer in their relationships,” Pathak and Runyon wrote. “Begin by doing the little things right now, then commit to good neighboring as a way of life.” You’ve been asked to go on a spiritual adventure that has the power to transform your neighborhood, city, and maybe the whole globe.”
Why is it critical for a guy to be a good neighbor? Where do you reside, how have you seen this play out?
Why is it critical for a guy to be a good neighbor? Where do you reside, how have you seen this play out?
Marcus Brotherton contributes to Art of Manliness on a regular basis. Visit www.marcusbrotherton.com to read his blog, Men Who Lead Well.
Being a good neighbor essay is one of the most important things in life. It will help you to understand how to be a good neighbor. Reference: how to be a good neighbour essay.
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