Be a good neighbor

Today’s post is on the power of being a good neighbor.  It starts with my neighbor being a good neighbor.  My  kids love to play at her house because she has several pets, and we have none.  

My neighbor is very generous with her time, house, food and pets, and it allows me the occasional respite.  For instance, it’s allowing me time to write this post hours before I expected.  

This was not planned.  I didn’t impose on my neighbor and fret about whether she could help.  She and our family are simply friends, and things fell together quite naturally.

At the same time, I noticed her son’s bicycle seat was too high.  Turns out, the seat post was too long.  So I offered to shorten it, because I had a metal saw that could handle it.  While I was at it, I put air in the tires and tightened the handlebars.  The whole thing took less than an hour, and her son is ready to roll on a bike that fits better and is a lot safer.  

An opportunity to help, to serve, to make the world better came out of just being a good neighbor.

Our relationship with this same neighbor started on a note of service.  She planned to move in on her own, with no one to help.  And she had a couple of large pieces that really needed two people.  We saw the truck and volunteered to help.  We unloaded the truck fast enough that she saved a whole day’s rental fee.  And because her kitchen was all in boxes, we just had them over for dinner.  We’ve been friends ever since.  

I know not every neighbor story will be so idyllic, but I believe in my heart that every neighbor story can be better.  

When we are kind and generous to others, we tend to gain influence with them.  That influence can help us change each other for the better.

We also lead our neighbors when we are kind to them.  We demonstrate an example of kindness, of self-sacrifice, of genuine care for another human being.  When we validate the needs of others, and choose freely to help, it’s called love.  

And so I ask you, what would today have been like if my family and I had seen our new neighbor struggling with unloading her truck, and said “She really should have gotten help,” and walked inside?  A lot less joyful, that’s what.  We would have missed a valuable friendship.  How tragic when we forego opportunities to lift others.  

When we lift others through selfless service, we lift ourselves.

Today’s invite:

When you notice someone struggling with something, offer sincerely to help.  (It doesn’t have to be directly.  Sometimes helping is going and finding the expert who can directly help.  Sometimes listening is helping.)

While you are helping:

Learn that individual’s name if you don’t already know it. 

Offer your own if they don’t already know it. 

And when you are done helping, wish them a good day.

Comment below on your experiences and feelings from helping someone else! Let us know how you made the world better, or how someone helped you!