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What is a "Good Neighbor"?

Updated on February 23, 2010

For the most part, all my life I have been blessed with good neighbors... But what really defines a “Good Neighbor” in the eyes of anyone that has to live in a neighborhood? Quiet and mysterious households are nice to look at, but we often wonder about the resident because we have never had the opportunity to associate with the people living there, which in turn leads us to believe there is some sort of “Evil Force” dwelling there that we are better off not to disturb....

Let us not forget the neighbor that always finds an excuse to have countless “Cookouts” throughout the year as an excuse to invite all their friends over to indulge in the good fortunes that have bestowed them and want to “Flaunt” their good fortunes on the rest of the world as they know it... Loud noises and gears from the crowds often account for sleepless nights, as well as sour feelings from the rest of the neighborhood just because the noise has disturbed their restful hours at home.

The “Busy-Body” neighbor is often one of the nosiest people you could ever hope to meet... Kindness often lubricates their words in order to obtain information from you that may be very devastating to your entire existence as well as anyone you may be involved with. Trusting a so called “Busy-Body” is bad enough... But telling them anything that has anything to do with your life directly can prove to be devastating !!!

What about the neighbor that is always out in their yard planning new landscape and wishing the entire world was just as they had planned it !?! Often times you will catch them looking down their long noses at your yard just because you let the grass get just a little bit too long... It seems time is of no consequence to them because they have long since retired and seem to have forgotten that there are only so many hours in a day... Taking care of their lawns consume the better part of their lives without worrying about the rest of the world and what life has planned for the working individual, because they are retired and their yard is their life now...

So... What does it take to make a “Good Neighbor” when you have so many varieties to choose from !?! I have often felt that in order to have a “Good Neighbor”, you must be a “Good Neighbor” in return... but that isn't always the case. You can be a good neighbor but never live in a neighborhood where you will ever find good neighbors for the simple fact... “The people in your neighborhood don't know what it takes to be a good neighbor”.

Good neighbors are willing to help you with any situation in your life no matter how large or how small, but at the same time, allow you the freedom to live your life without even knowing they are around. I live in a rural community with just a hand full of neighbors, and it is rare for us to visit more often than once every month or two, and even then the visits are short and to the point.

In the summer months we will share extra vegetables we grow in our gardens which gives us a chance to catch up on each others lives without being too nosy. In the fall we may share cuts of fresh meat or game we have killed. I burn wood to heat my home, and in the winter months all my neighbors are more than happy to give me wood they have cut, or ask me to cut a tree they want removed from their property and give me the firewood I can get from it. In the spring we visit to talk about what crops each of us plan to grow, which in turn gives us a wider variety of vegetables to share with each other by planting different crops.

All in all, we live our lives separately... But if something happens to any of my neighbors, the rest of us are the first to offer our help in any way possible... No one ever complains about the other and we all live in harmony. Being a good neighbor is every bit as important as having a good neighbor, and I can only say that I am truly blessed to live in a rural community of good country folk that understand what being a “Good Neighbor” really means.


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      WildIris 7 years ago

      Well, I guess all rural communities are kind of alike. A good neighbor is the one that comes to put the fire out, but I don't know about harmony. We are people after all, and if you live rural, too rural, you may not have any other source of entertainment other than to gossip about your neighbors. It is a small town feel where everyone knows all about you, your kids, your divorce, your kids stealing cement trucks or 4 wheelers. Fences do not always make good neighbors.

      I enjoyed reading your Hub.