The planning is almost over. It is nearly time for residents to begin hosting parties and doing good deeds for their neighbors as part of National Good Neighbor Day on Sept. 28.
Some neighbors will be setting up a canopy in the yard in a few days, firing up the grill, and hosting block parties for their nearest neighbors.
With all the rush of summer and a new school year underway, this is a good time of year to ask, will the real neighbors please stand up?
A real neighbor understands the importance of helping out when needed, sharing a cup of sugar when asked, and happily lending a strong back or a listening ear.
A real neighbor is the one with a fire pit in their backyard and a willingness to share the experience with the people that live closest to them.
A real neighbor is willing to share a conversation or a tear over a freshly brewed cup of coffee (or hot chocolate).
A real neighbor finds joy investing in those around them and takes the time to learn and use the names of those that live near them.
A real neighbor knows the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and puts it into practice.
A real neighbor is giving and performs good deeds without being prompted. (If you see that your neighbor is having a hard time, offer to lend a hand.)
Real neighbors understand they do not have to become your best friend. Some people enjoy their privacy. But real neighbors also know a smile and a wave, and knowing names can go a long way toward building a relationship.
A real neighbor keeps a tidy home and lawn. They mow regularly and maintain their yard. They remove clutter from the yard at the end of the day. And they avoid too much outdoor décor like cars and machinery that do not work.
A real neighbor knows the importance of being a quiet neighbor. They don’t mow their lawn at seven in the morning, don’t honk their horn every time they pull into the driveway, keep their music down past 9 p.m. – you get the gist.
Neighboring is an opportunity to be thankful for those living nearest us, a chance to be a blessing, and an opportunity to receive.
Being a kind and engaged neighbor can bring out the best in all of us. The good that resides in humankind bubbles up when neighbors form mutual relationships of help and support and kindness and understanding.
A real neighbor lives out the advice to “love your neighbor” every day.
If you want a friendlier neighborhood or community, you begin by being the change you want to see. That change begins with making choices about our time and tasks. A real neighbor holds their time and schedule loosely.
This year more than others, we need to be reminded that good neighbors help to create good neighborhoods and vibrant communities.
We need real neighbors and what they can do for us. Here is hoping your family experiences a real neighbor relationship during National Good Neighbor Week and discovers love, kindness, and friendship right next door.
National Good Neighbor Day is Sept. 28. In Greene County, the celebration will run Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 and includes a “1,000 Acts of Neighboring” challenge. Learn how you can win a prize or award at http://extension.missouri.edu and use this holiday to start developing relationships with your neighbors.