What kind of community member are you?
Each one of us would like to think, we are the good neighbor. My question to you is, “do you really know your neighbors anymore?” Who lives next door, who lives across the street, do you know all these people?
I grew up in a small town, I kid you not, my family knew everybody on our street. If something happened to your house the neighbors were there. You started working on your car, people came over to offer assistance. We used to sit on the front porch and wave at the passing cars and talked with people that walked past.
Now days people don’t even know who lives next door to them. People don’t know who lives behind them, or across the street from them. Even people that live in apartment buildings don’t know many people that live on the same level! This is not how society should function.
Now I am not talking about liking everyone, that’s just not going to happen. But knowing our neighbors, being involved in your community, is what we should be striving for.
If the lady down the street goes to the hospital and somebody has to feed her cats, is there anybody to do it? Do you trust your neighbor enough to come in your house, and help you pick something up and move it if you can’t lift it by yourself?
We talk about self-reliance, but sometimes we can’t do everything for ourselves. We need an extra set of helping hands. Sometimes we need somebody to cheer for us, or give us some friendly advice. You never know, some person down the street might be able to teach you something, but you will never find out, if you don’t know who that person is.
In a community wide, self-reliance situation, you may not get much help, if you do not know whom the “community” are.
You should be ascertaining the assets of individuals in your area. You should be finding the strength and weaknesses in your community.
Yes “you”, should be knocking on the doors, handing out cookies, walking down the street and talking to neighbors. Get to be known as “that nice person in the neighborhood”. The one people can rely on for honesty and truth and a helping hand.
In the old days we said this person had “integrity”, this person was “okay”, and that this person was “good people”.
It may sound strange to some people. I know not everyone was raised like I was. When I come across a harvest of good vegetables, I will actually put them in bags and hang them on my neighbors doors. I can’t tell you how many friends this made. Every year I always have an oversupply of tomatoes, onions and peppers. Handing them out in my neighborhood, cracks the ice and opens quite a few doors, to make new friends.
So this year I have a challenge for you.
Go make friends in your neighborhood. It doesn’t cost anything to smile at people, and wave, and say hello. Now if you have the chance to hand out some goodies, like fresh baked bread or something home cooked, do it. Inviting neighbors over for a grill out, hot dogs are cheap. Go introduce yourself to the elderly people down the street, see if they can use a helping hand.
The more your community comes together, the better it makes your community.
The better your community is, the more self-reliant it will be.