My neighbour in the house on the left is an old lady who is rarely seen outside. She’s not well and often a friend or two come and stay the night to keep her company when she is ill.
My neighbours in the house on the right are a family with 2 young kids and a teenager, the father is a teacher and the mother is a dog lover.
My neighbours in the house across the street are a retired couple who’ve been living there for 23 years, because they just love this area.
Why am I telling you this?
Because if you were to ask me about the neighbours in my previous place – I would go “Um…, not too sure.”. I wouldn’t even know how many people lived in the house next door. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but I guess this is what happens if one doesn’t pay attention and doesn’t make it a point to get to know the neighbours.
These days it’s much easier to just avoid your neighbours than to get to know them. We say that we don’t live in a vacuum, but often it feels like we do – driving a car to work with the windows shut, having groceries delivered to your door instead of going to a supermarket; we don’t even have to speak to anyone, if we don’t feel like it.
Why is getting to know the neighbours important?
Well, for one, people often feel more comfortable knowing who lives next door. The more we know about someone, the better we understand who they are, the more comfortable we feel about their presence – which we can’t avoid feeling and noticing, living so closely to one another.
Apart from just feeling more comfortable, knowing the neighbours opens a door to doing them little favors and being able to ask for some in return. It can be anything, from putting the rubbish bins out when you’re away on holidays to collecting your mail or feeding your pets. Knowing your neighbours can save you some money and trouble, because instead of hiring someone for these tasks you can simply ask the people next door if they could mind this and that while you’re away.
Knowing your neighbours can also make your neighbourhood safer – since there’s a chance that after a little while you’ll learn who their regular visitors are, you may be able to report any suspicious activity going on in their home or yard, and they can look out for you in a similar way. Neighbourhood Watch, whether as an official program or not, is the best way for a safe and secure environment.
This is why I think it’s important that we take advantage of the Neighbour Day (31 March) to get closer to our neighbours.
What do you think?