Stories on Love, Life and Inspiration

We All Need Good Neighbours

Go the Extra Mile — Make Friends with Your Neighbours!

Photo of young man with cap on with inscription “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR”
Inspirational Image of ‘Love Your Neighbour”, photo taken by Nina Strehl from: unsplash.com

Our object should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large. Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Maintenance of good relations with the neighbours, friendship to all, malice to none is the policy I pursue throughout my life. Sheikh Hasina

Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them. Samuel Butler

Each neighbourhood is unique. Everyone has their part to play. Want to be a great neighbour? I do! Have you heard of the phrase: ‘you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your neighbours? I sure hope my neighbours are glad they have me next door. I have two especially good neighbours, whom I also count as friends. I consider myself blessed!

The term neighbour is different according to where one lives. For a person living on an isolated property — as I did for many years — your closest neighbour is likely many kilometres distant. But, for me, physical distance is no barrier. I joined the C.W.A., the Red Cross and other community organisations and neighbours were never far away.

There is an old African proverb that I love, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. In today’s society where we at times fear for our children. To live according to this African proverb indeed would be ideal.

Image of African Village, from: Istock-unsplash.com

The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live. Myles Munroe

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. Coretta Scott King

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. Anthony J. D’Angelo

Life has certainly changed since I was a youngster. Growing up on a quiet suburban street in East Parramatta. I came home from school and changed from my uniform into tidy/clean play clothes. Had a cold drink and a nice long chat with mum. Completed any homework.

If the weather was fine, my friends and I played tennis or cricket in the street till dark. Never even heard of paedophiles back then. Never heard of computers or e-games. Life was simple, face-to-face-no fears and yes-extra good neighbours!

Each of us has a duty towards our neighbours, close or not. For me, it breaks down to one simple message. Always help your neighbour in a welcoming, friendly way, so their pain is eased. Easier said than done, yes, I know! But, with time, patience and compassion you indeed can ease their pain.

Have you experienced a time of sadness when a neighbour popped in with a bunch of flowers freshly picked from her garden? You wiped the tears from your eyes and straightened your shoulders. Made a fresh coffee for the both of you. You chatted about nothing for a while. Then about more intimate somethings…. Now your neighbour is a close friend. You and she are blessed.

You now deal with neighbours more respectfully, knowing they too have times of sadness. You may look for signs where you may offer help. Where you can be the Good Samaritan. You may be the neighbour who pops over with a bunch of flowers picked fresh from your garden to brighten another’s day. And words of kindness to lift a sad heart.

A City Built Completely Out of Lego Blocks, photo taken Alphacolour from: unsplash.com

Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together. Paul Ryan

The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food. Dean Ornish

Quality of life actually begins at home — it’s in your street, around your community. Charles Kennedy

Good neighbourhoods are like lego buildings. That is, one good neighbour is linked to another. Building strong and good neighbourhoods. As do all buildings, a neighbourhood is only as strong as its foundations. What are the foundations of a Good Neighbourhood? Good neighbours of course!

You are a good neighbour. I believe! A person who is ready to help your neighbour in a time of need. A person who greets your neighbour with a friendly smile on a brand new day. A great neighbour who pops over with a fresh bunch of flowers for no reason at all.

You are a responsible neighbour in all the essential ways that matter. A tidy house and garden, well behaved (well for the most part) children and dog, take part in community markets, etc. In other words, you are a Good Neighbour in a Great Neighbourhood.

It matters all the time, and in all neighbourhoods, that you and I are good neighbours. To live by the standard: ‘be the neighbour you want the world to see’. Yes! You say, easier said than done. But for me, it is more than a mere pipe dream. I feel if I, you, and perhaps, everyone was to give this a real try. We could build safe neighbourhoods once more!

Neighbourhoods where once again our children could play safely in the street till dark. Neighbourhoods where a neighbour would help a neighbour with sincere friendship. Where perhaps front fences are no longer needed. Where guard dogs are a thing of the past.

Good neighbours are the foundation of neighbourhoods where strangers are only strangers for a short while. And soon become real friends in the true sense of the word.

You don’t like to feel alone and isolated. I sure don’t. Being a good neighbour negates these negative feelings of aloneness and isolation.

Image of Sydney, photo taken by Eggzy Pallet from: unsplash.com

People who lead a lonely existence always have something on their minds that they are eager to talk about. Anton Chekhov

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. Tecumseh

In cities no one is quiet but many are lonely; in the country, people are quiet but few are lonely. Geoffrey Fisher

I have lived in the inner city of Sydney. Never in my life was I ever so lonely. People everywhere. But oh! so lonely! I am an open and friendly person by nature. But this only made things worse. Yes! I was surrounded by families. But I have never felt so isolated and so alone in my entire life. So scared — So …

Thank God I moved to a little country town, Binnaway. Life was liveable again. I not only had good neighbours. I made two close friends. I met my current husband. Again, I am blessed!

I guess you have had a time when you felt you were the only person on God’s earth… Then something changed for the better. A certain someone offered a kind word, a gentle sign of friendship. The barriers of isolation and loneliness crumbled. Again you had a good neighbour. You were again part of a great neighbourhood.

Now to look at the bigger picture. You and I feel better when we are happily living as part of our neighbourhood. This is in our genes. We are just built this way. Your neighbourhood hopefully allows people to live their lives in safety and happiness.

There is so much more to being a good neighbour. Being a good neighbour promotes mental well-being. That’s gotta be good, right? Just a chat over the fence is enough to brighten your day, yes?

A neighbour compliments you on how beautiful your red roses are this spring. Your children laughing and playing in next door’s yard. You know and have grown to trust your close neighbour. This sense of community and trust has blossomed into friendship for you and your children.

Plus, you and all the residents in your street are members of the Neighbourhood Watch community-based crime prevention programme. This again is good neighbours working together, strengthening and forming great neighbourhoods.

Then another miracle happens over time. The neighbour you chat with about sweet nothings over the fence becomes a close friend. A miracle to cherish, for sure.

Now you frequently pop into each others’ places for family dinners. You celebrate Christmas and other festivals together. You often mind each other’s children. Have you considered what a sign of trust they have shown in you? Their children are priceless. They entrust their care to you. They completely and utterly trust you. You are privileged! You are honoured!

Being English and therefore somewhat shy. It took many years to get used to the way of things here in Australia. But, now the relaxed way of living here is oh! so welcome.

When my family and I were still newcomers to these shores. We were invited next door for Saturday lunch, she said and of course “bring a plate.” Not knowing what this meant mum washed and polished her finest Royal Doultan — empty of course! We all dressed in our Sunday Best. Remember it was a Saturday lunch invitation. We tentatively knocked and were warmly welcomed in. To an afternoon of friendship and games. Of course, ours was the only empty plate.

Now, as far as I know. This Royal Doultan still has, with its plate stand, pride of place in our neighbour’s dining room. A treasured memory of a Saturday afternoon lunch with a neighbour from a distant land.

We were great friends for many, many years.

Much like when my family and I moved into a new house in suburban Parramatta. Neighbours can be diverse and very, very different from each other. Your neighbour can be from a different country, hold a completely different spiritual belief and may have so many other differences. There is one thing we all have in common. They need to be accepted.

Image of Cornerstones from: Istock-unsplash.com

It takes collaboration across a community to develop better skills for better lives. Jose Angel Gurria

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. Thomas Aquinas

From quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends. Hilaire Belloc

Helpful and friendly neighbours are the very cornerstone of great neighbourhoods. As diverse as all neighbourhoods are, we all have our parts to enact. We all crave to live in a safe place. Residences where children can once again play safely in the street until dark. We can make this a reality by playing our part and being good neighbours.

A good neighbour can remove the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Can lift your spirits and even make you laugh again. We feel connected in the true sense of the word. Neighbours become close friends in time.

Image of Children Playing, photo was taken by Carlos Magno from: unsplash.com

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Diane Markey

Diane Markey

Professional Artist. I write stories about Inspiration, Love and Life Lessons. Written from my heart and from life experiences. Qualified Personal Counsellor.