Neighborhood

Commit To Your Neighbor

My morning jog was not the same today.

I run. My goal is to run 5 K five days a week. I do this for my body and for my mind. I learned to love jogging.

So, I have been running in our neighborhood ever since we moved here, two years ago.  I started by just going out and jogging, exploring the neighborhood and testing the terrain. I wasn’t sure if I would continue running here, because we live in a rural area and the road can be busy with trucks and cars driving at 40 miles per hour speed limit.

I noticed that the route I chose for running was manageable for my running abilities and what was more important – the drivers were friendly and respectful. I was grateful to acknowledge the cars slowing down and moving to the other lane when passing me, even though I would also move to the side of the road. I saw the hands in the vehicles waiving to greet me and I always responded flipping my hand up in the air. I still cannot connect the faces with the trucks and cars, but I know that those are my dear neighbors and I am grateful to them for being so considerate and nice to a jogger on their road.

Last Saturday we had a neighborhood picnic and for the first time, I met many of my neighbors in person. They already knew there is a jogger on the road and now they saw my face and met me as well. We had a great time together. People brought the food and the hosts made sure that everybody had a place to relax and enjoy.

In the morning today, I felt like my neighborhood changed for me. I felt not just welcome, I felt it is my home. I am safe here and I have people here whose well-being depends on me the same as mine depends on them.

When we move to a new place, it can be daunting to make a new acquaintance. I want to encourage you to persevere through that fear and step out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to go out and say hello to your neighbor.  These tips might give you an idea.

  1. Just stop at the neighbor’s house, knock on the door and introduce yourself.
  2. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors.
  3. If you see your neighbor across the fence in the yard, yell “Hello!”.
  4. Never mind if you receive a dirty look. Ignore. Today’s gloomy day might lead to tomorrow’s wonderful day.
  5. Offer to help if you can. This might be gratefully accepted.
  6. Share your plants, if you are a gardener. Ask for gardening tips in the area.
  7. Ask about the community events and how you can be involved. (picnic, fundraising, garage-sale)
  8. Smile and be friendly. It’s just a light connection, which might develop into a long and deep friendship.
  9. Be courteous in every way when you meet your neighbor.
  10. Commit to the well-being of your neighborhood.

Whatever you are doing to get to know your neighborhood, do it with a light happy heart. People need people even though at times we don’t want to admit this.

Our ultimate goal is to live in a safe world and building safe neighborhoods is a way to go.

Let me know how you connect with your neighbors in the comments below.

Much love for now.

Lena

Coaching for world travelers.

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