A neighborhood can be a wonderful environment for both adults and children. Neighborhoods where each neighbor cares for one another, helps each other and looks out for one another’s homes and families represent the ideal American neighborhood and are part of the American dream. Unfortunately, in rare circumstances, events unfold within neighborhoods that threaten to undermine the very fabric of this American ideal. They arise not from our intention to be at odds with our neighbors, but from a lack of thought and consideration as to how our actions and behaviors may affect those who live around us.
Unless you grew up in a rural area- with neighbors far enough away to not even be seen- the many things which usually get under the skin of the people in a neighborhood can easily be avoided. Though we don’t do them intentionally, we fail to consider them. Things such as parking issues, loud music, parties, lawn mowers, hammering, etc. each present a clear and present danger to the harmonious nature which should inhabit all neighborhoods. Neighborhood squabbles all start with something small. Then, if neighbors are not communicating, things quickly grow out of control and can get ugly. That’s why it is so important to think about everything we do and how it may affect those who live around us.
The foundation for a good neighborhood- wrought with happy, helpful neighbors- is respect. Simple little considerations and acts can go such a long way when it comes to a good neighborhood. At the core is communication. For instance, if you plan on having a party which may be loud, visit your surrounding neighbors and let them know. Let them know your plans and ask them to call you if things get too loud. Depending upon the party, you may even wish to invite them over. Most people will happily put up with the noise of a party because the party-givers showed their respect to the neighbors by informing them. And if parking is at a premium in your neighborhood, try to arrange a parking area somewhere close by- like a parking lot or main street where your guests can park and not take up every space in your neighborhood. Just the mere act of consideration toward neighbors will go a long, long way and will keep neighbor relations harmonious.
If you have outdoor work planned for a weekend- such as mowing the lawn, using the leaf blower; or perhaps repairing that shed roof- don’t start making noise at 7AM. Weekends are usually the one time people can sleep in. Anyone who has been awakened by neighbors making noise that early can appreciate how that feels. Give yourself until after 9:30 and spare the ire of your neighbors.
If you have elderly neighbors, check in on them frequently. Give them a hand with the little things like helping them out with the garbage and taking in the cans. If the weather is inclement, find out if they need anything from the store. If it snows, try to shovel them out.
And finally, parking issues are also a big deal for a neighborhood with limited parking. Try to respect the space in which a neighbor usually parks. Though some feel that no single person owns the streets, we should still be considerate of where they park. By doing so, we hope that others would be considerate of where we park.
Communicate, be attentive and considerate toward those who live around you and it will mean the difference between a neighborhood whose members get along and work together- and one which does not.