I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good neighbour lately. With what’s happening in Syria, with a recent trip back to my home province to visit my former neighbours (both recently to Vancouver and a few years back on a trip to South Africa) and reflecting on my new neighbours in Edmonton.
Good neighbours are folks in my books are people who smile and wave every time you see them, they help you out with small tasks when called on for help. And in turn you also help them out when needed. Simple, right?
They bring you gatorade if you’re sick and your partner is away. They are people who open a window for you on a long bus ride or scare burglars away from your house when you’re not home (true story).
They’re people you want to invite into your house and aren’t afraid to talk politics/family/weather with.
The share their garden’s bounty and turn take some of yours.
They bless your hallways with sweet treats in honour of birthdays/births/holidays/just because.
They are the people who fill that zone between friendship and family, stranger and loved one.
You help them move, throw surprise parties, ‘lend’ them sugar, help them with household challenges.
When I hear about all the bad news about the different countries who are taking refugees in Europe and not being the most best ‘good neighbours’, I try to find positive news stories to balance out the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ journalism that’s so pervasive these days. There are many tales of hope, compassion, generosity coming out of the current global refugee situation. If we dwell too much on the bad and not the good, we might as well not leave the house, chat in the street or share our food with those of us next door, en route, in need.
The photo above was of the macarons my neighbour Kian made the week we brought our son home from the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit when he was still a preemie. Our neighbours were such gems when we came home and instantly fell in love with our little dude, in turn, we with them (even more). I hope that these little heart cookies inspire others here in Canada or afar in places like Hungary, Germany, Macedonia remember what the facets of good neighbourhood is. Because to me, a good neighbour is someone who displays love when they don’t have to, share because they can and helps when its needed.
PS Here’s some good new stories that will life your hearts and realize there are still good neighbours out there:
Via ABC News
Via the Ottawa Citizen
Via the Georgia Straight
What makes a good neighbour to you? How many times have you encountered a great neighbour? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.