Lately we have begun to hear more and more about how creating change takes a community or a village; as though we did not know this!
Americans have a DNA unlike any other nation on the planet! We are a ‘can do’ nation of people who cannot and do not accept defeat. “No” has never meant no in American history! No means, ‘not that way.’ In short, Americans find a way, where there is no way.
We don’t worry about odds either. When General Washington led his pitiful, cold and proud troops to defeat the most powerful military presence on earth, he did it with a hope and a prayer. We have been doing it ever since.
Americans are the first and biggest responders to every tragedy around the globe. If an American air carrier breaks the horizon, something big is going to happen.
The USA arrives with aid that feeds nations, manpower that literally moves mountains and a determination to finish the job. And we always do.
This country does not fight wars for the mere acquisition of land; we fight for freedom from atrocities for other people. We arrive to right a wrong. It is a nation like none other!
If you are reading this and you are not American, these traits are what make this country great. They are the best of America and the traits worth pursuing, no matter where you are or are from.
Why then have we lost our good neighbor policy at home?
By the time most of us left the high school graduation, we had begun to notice a little thing in our lives that kept popping up; that what we gave, we received.
It is the boomerang of life. If you want a good friend you must be a good friend. If you want to be loved, you must be willing to give love.
Your home will feel much safer and you will be happier there if you have good neighbors. You get them by being one.
Today’s communities rely on ‘neighborhood watch committees’ to replace what used to be a given; that the people who lived in a community cared about the community and their neighbors.
It is not necessary to become intimately involved in your neighbor’s lives. I really recommend you don’t!
However, take stock of what your neighborhood consists of. Are young children or pets a part of your street or community? If so, this means controlling speed is essential.
Do you notice a home that has only one parent or a single person living alone?
You are not expected to take the place of anyone missing from someone else’s home. However, if you are willing and able to extend small favors like lifting obvious heavy items or other small things that make a difference, you become a great neighbor.
Most particularly take note of anyone on your street or in your community who is elderly or handicapped.
I have learned that this group of people are very independent and hate appearing to need any kind of help. They are desperately trying to hang onto their self reliant life style. They are also in need the most assistance.
Things you take for granted like taking trash to the curb become a difficult task with a walker or wheelchair.
Trimming hedges is nearly impossible with arthritic hands and fingers. They simply don’t work like they used to. When this begins, opening a vital bottle of medication is a nearly impossible task. Offer to help.
Small things can make a big difference in the lives of your neighbors. If you think there is no good reason for you to worry about it, imagine this as a boomerang that comes back to you when someone like you offers assistance to your parents or grandparents. Life is like that.
If you are planning a party or get together that you know is likely to be noisy or intrusive, talk to your neighbors ahead of the event. Let them know and listen if they have an issue with it, and try to arrive at a solution that makes everyone comfortable.
This is also true for extra parking. Work it out ahead with your neighbors so that it is not an issue in the midst of your event. These are simple courtesies that smooth your path.
If you have a barking animal that rouses the neighborhood during sleep time, make a good effort to gain control of it or bring it inside where it does not disturb your neighbors.
If you live in a subdivision, rather than on a lot of acreage, don’t assume that your neighbors will find your monkeys’ antics amusing; or that bears, tigers, lions, pythons and boa constrictors or other exotic animals are cute. You need to be living on a lot of acreage and acquire an exotic animal permit. You have become a zoo keeper!
Many times the smallest favor is the biggest thing that has happened in another person’s life today.
Maybe it does indeed take a village, but this attitude begins in our own back yard, literally, and everyone needs to participate in the success of their village! Your participation in creating a strong and caring village strengthens the very threads of the foundation of the American dream; a safe and secure home and family, and contributes to the safety and stability of your community.
By Alexa Keating