Do you know your neighbors? Not just their names. Do you actually know your neighbors? Individualism and independence have gotten a bit out of control; add in the fast pace of life and social media, and you have the recipe for neighbors who are perfect strangers. Let's put aside the excuses: they're never home, I hardly see them, they aren't friendly, we're too different, I'm too busy, I'm introverted. Humans are made for relationship, and it's our responsibility to make an effort to know the people who live near us. Some of them might even be struggling or suffering and really need our help—how will we know unless we pursue them?
Here are some easy ways to start getting to know your neighbors:
- Hang out in front of your home. (as opposed to inside or the backyard)
- Invite some of them over for a wine & cheese party.
- Take walks around your neighborhood.
- Ask for help. The next time you're short a cup of milk or need a tool, pause before grabbing your keys. Knocking on a door and asking for help is a natural way to welcome a neighbor into your life and begin a relationship.
As I've stepped out of my comfort zone and gotten to know my neighbors, many sweet and unexpected surprises have come my way. Most significantly, my home feels more like home.