I was checking my Facebook page the other day and reading about all the “exciting” things my friends were doing. Someone was bored at work, someone was tired, someones kid wouldn’t nap, etc. It got me thinking about how I communicate with my neighbors. You guessed it, I have found myself communicating with my neighbors more often on Facebook rather than actually talking with them. Granted it has been winter and people aren’t spending as much time outside but how can a meaningful relationship be built or maintained using status updates?
When we talk about knowing your neigbors and planning, what are we really talking about? We are building relationships or networking. It is important to know who is living around you. What they are interested in, what is their background. It may be self serving, but you want to know how the people around you can help you. It is also good to know what their needs are and how you can help them.
Like many, my neighborhood landscape has changed over the past year. My neighborhood of 28 homes has 3 homes vacant due to foreclosure and 1 due to job relocation. Over time new families will move in and the dynamics of our neighborhood will change. Kids grow up and leave for college, people retire, hobbies and interests change. These are all opportunities to work on the relationships your neighborhood will need.
As the weather improves and more people are outside I encourage you to make an effort to better know your neighbors. Plan a Bar B Que, help a neighbor with a project, or hold a neighborhood garage sale. These are a few examples of things that will help you build relationships with those around you. By the time you are in need, it is too late.