I love the fact that my husband and I have a wonderfully supportive group of neighbors in my rural Redmond, Washington location. The houses in my neighborhood are quite spread out, but within the three adjacent houses to ours reside extraordinary people who, if asked, would certainly give the shirt off their backs.
We watch out for each other. If one of us hasn’t been visible for awhile, we check to make sure all is well on the other side of the fence.
If one of us grows an over abundance of flowers in the spring and summer, we e-mail each other and invite one and all to come over to pick them so as to liven up their own homes.
When a medical issue comes up of which we become aware, there’s always an offer of transportation, or meals, or “what do you need?” extended from the four households.
I think there’s far too much seclusion in society where we fail to even know by appearance who our neighbors are. Forget even being aware of their names or their family situation; we don’t even know what they look like. It’s no wonder we read news stories where a neighbor was found deceased in their house days or weeks after the fact because no one noticed they hadn’t been visible as of late. Isn’t that a horrible statement about society, that someone could pass from this life without anyone noticing?
My neighbors and I are lucky; we care about each other and because we care about each other we watch out for each other. We’re not “besties” – we don’t get together for backyard BBQs and dinners every weekend – but we’re tuned into each other because we realize the importance of community in a world where some day, that may be the only thing upon which we can rely.
If you make New Years resolutions, how about committing yourself to meeting two or three of your neighbors before the end of 2015. I mean, how hard could that be? If you’re in a multi-unit building, start up a conversation with the person picking up their mail, or instead of feeling awkward during that elevator ride to your respective floors, strike up a conversation that may expand your immediate community from “me, myself, and I” to “you and me.”
The phrase, “I’ve got your back” is a motto that we should follow. Among other things, it means:
- I’m going to watch out for you and be a second set of eyes for you;
- I will look out for your best interests;
- I will stick up for you.
I don’t know about you, but it feels pretty darn good knowing that someone else cares enough to do that for me.