Will the Real Neighbors Please Stand-Up?

National Good Neighbor Day is Sept. 28

  • Published: Friday, Sept. 10, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The planning is almost over. It is nearly time for residents to begin hosting parties and doing good deeds for their neighbors as part of National Good Neighbor Day on Sept. 28.

If you live in Greene County, Missouri, residents there will celebrate Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. They can report their activities at www.surveymonkey.com/r/NationalGoodNeighborDay to win a prize or neighborhood award as part of the 1,000 Acts of Neighboring Challenge.

A real neighbor could make National Good Neighbor Day a time of fun and excitement, but they also know that being an engaged neighbor requires attention for more than just one week or one special day a year.

"This year more than others, we need to be reminded that good neighbors help to create good neighborhoods and vibrant communities," said David Burton, a county engagement specialist with University of Missouri Extension and a nationally recognized advocate for neighboring.

REAL NEIGHBORS

With all the rush of summer and a new school year underway, this is a good time of year to ask: will the real neighbors please stand up?

According to Burton, a real neighbor understands the importance of helping out when needed, sharing a cup of sugar when asked, and happily lending a strong back or a listening ear.

A real neighbor is the one with a fire pit in their backyard and a willingness to share the experience with the people that live closest to them.

A real neighbor is willing to share a conversation or a tear over a freshly brewed cup of coffee (or hot chocolate). 

A real neighbor finds joy investing in those around them and takes the time to learn and use the names of those that live near them.

A real neighbor is giving and performs good deeds without being prompted. 

Real neighbors understand they do not have to become your best friend. But real neighbors also know a smile and a wave, and knowing names can go a long way toward building a relationship.

A real neighbor keeps a tidy home and lawn. They mow regularly, maintain their lawn, and remove clutter from the yard at the end of the day. 

A real neighbor knows the importance of being a quiet neighbor. They don't mow their lawn at seven in the morning, don't honk their horn every time they pull into the driveway, keep their music down past 9 p.m. 

BE THE CHANGE

"Neighboring is an opportunity to be thankful for those living nearest us, a chance to be a blessing or generous, and an opportunity also to receive," said Burton. "Being a kind and engaged neighbor can bring out the best in all of us."

People say the type of company you keep can have a considerable impact on your way of life. This impact is also true for the kind of neighbors you have and how you relate together. 

But to have good neighbors, Burton says you first have to become a good neighbor yourself. 

"If you want a friendlier neighborhood or community, you begin by being the change you want to see. That change begins with making choices about our time and tasks. A real neighbor holds their time and schedule loosely," said Burton. "I hope Missouri families experience a real neighbor relationship during National Good Neighbor Week and discover love, kindness, and friendship right next door."

MORE INFORMATION

Neighboring is the art and skill of building relationships with the people who live in the closest proximity to you. Being a good neighbor offers tremendous health benefits, leads to reductions in crime, reduces loneliness, improves communities, and improves your quality of life.

University of Missouri Extension is at the forefront of a national movement recognizing the importance of neighboring in community development. MU Extension is offering classes like "Neighboring 101" and "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" along with two annual neighboring events as a way to raise awareness and encourage others to focus on neighbors.

To learn more about our "Engaged Neighbor" program or the impact of neighboring, go online to https://extension.missouri.edu or contact David Burton by email [email protected] or telephone at (417) 881-8909. "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" can also be found on Facebook.
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Writer: David Burton

Media Contact

David Burton
417/881-8909

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