This day and age there’s no shortage of things to fear. If one watches the news or even uses social media, it’s easy to see that there are many stories about the bad things that happen. This is such a recurring pattern that I call the news the “Death Report.”
This is because all you hear about is who died, how they died, and some of the details about it. It tends to get a wee bit overwhelming. This is a reason that I don’t really watch the news anymore.
Either way, I would say that the news is one contributing factor as to why it seems that many in our communities are so fearful of one another. It seems the Viciniphobia, or a fear of neighbors or a neighborhood, in our communities is getting worse and worse. Many people don’t seem to want to hang out with their neighbors.
Technology is seemingly another contributor as to why many people don’t want to come together with their neighbors. With cellphones and apps nowadays, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not really paying attention to your surroundings, both immediate and neighborly.
One thing to note is that you and your neighbors are probably in the same or a very close socioeconomic class. This usually means that you’ll probably be facing a lot of the same day-to-day issues or share a lot of the same lifestyle attributes and habits. After all, you’re living in the same area and strengthening your community starts with neighbors coming together.
Neighbors Can Help Keep You Safe
On a different note, there’s a situation that always seems to play out in my head. The situation that I think about is if something bad happens to my family or house. Basically, if there’s a situation where there’s a live legitimate threat to my family’s safety or my safety, who are the first ones that can be there?
Answer: The neighbors.
Everyone else can show up eventually, if everything works out and there’s enough time, but your neighbors can sometimes assist in seconds (depending on the area that you live in).
- The police can get to you eventually, if you can actually communicate the details of the threat to them; as the saying goes:
“When seconds count, police are only minutes away…”
- Friends and family are almost in the same situation: they can eventually assist as well, but they may take a while to arrive (unless, of course, they are your neighbors).
The above message is what lands for me. It’s probably not a bad idea to have a good relationship with your neighbors as you just never know when you’ll need them (especially in a dire situation).
For those that already have great relationships with their neighbors, I applaud you! For those that don’t, perhaps it’s worth attempting to forge new relationships with them. Plus, with more of a community setting, it can maybe save you some money or time.
Neighbors Can Save You Time And Money
Not only can your neighbors help in keeping you safe, they can also save time and money. There are various things that your neighbor can provide you with; sometimes with just a brief conversation with them. A neighbor can sometimes:
- Provide a referral – This could be as simple as a local restaurant or even a contractor for house work you may want done.
- Provide insights on the local neighborhood – If you’re not sure of local events that are going on or what the local culture is like, they can usually assist.
- Allowing you to borrow their property (i.e. a tool or commodity) – If you don’t have a particular tool that you’re probably only going to use once, a neighbor may allow you to borrow it from them. They may actually teach you how to use it as well.
- Teach you something about what they do for a living – Your neighbor may be an auto mechanic and you may have car trouble, perhaps they can give you a little bit of advice.
- … And a lot more.
Also, it usually can’t hurt to ask for something in general, if you don’t ask, the answer is “no.”
Be The Neighbor You Want
You should keep in mind that you’ll want to be the neighbor that you want. If you start to take advantage of your neighbors, that may not work out for very long and could lead to animosity. Try to be as giving as you can and this will help develop a stronger community.
A lot of the information above is somewhat dependent on your relationship with your neighbor(s). If there isn’t much of a relationship with them, odds are that you’ll have to start building that relationship and rapport with them. The good news is that it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. Which basically means that both sides will benefit!
Also keep in mind that there are some people who will only want the benefits without actually putting forth the effort or those that really don’t have much to offer. Sometimes it can be confusing as to who is who in those categories, but unfortunately, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Either way, try to be as giving as you can as this can help strengthen your community overall.
If you have any thoughts on any of this, comments, or questions, please do leave them below. I’m curious to know your thoughts.