We began our celebration of Good Neighbors on Friday, with National Good Neighbor Day. At Keep Liberty Beautiful, we know there are lots of traits that make for good neighbors. I have been lucky most of my life to have had not only good neighbors, but wonderful neighbors who became extensions of our family.
But then there are the other neighbors who we all eventually run into: the trashy ones with junk all over the place and the noisy ones who either play loud music late into the night and have, like Hank Williams Jr., all their rowdy friends coming over tonight. Although I will say that if Williams was my neighbor, I could put up with his rowdy friends; I cannot help it — as crazy as he is, he would be an ultracool neighbor!
Then there are the nosy ones, who remind me of Mrs. Kravitz on “Bewitched,” who was consumed with getting in her neighbors’ business. I do not see how, in all those years, she did not get turned into a toad or something.
We have been polling people lately to get their perspective on what makes for a good neighbor in the context of Keep Liberty Beautiful’s goals, which are litter prevention and beautification and community improvement. Here are some of the positive and not-so-positive thoughts that folks shared:
• No junk cars in the yard
• Same goes for old appliances, like washing machines, or old furniture, like sofas on the front porch
• No tires piled up in the yard
• No litter in the yard or in the right-of-way in front of the yard
• No dumping of yard waste in the street or in a street’s storm drains
• No dumping motor oil and similar fluids in storm drains, either
On the positive side, these types of things were noted:
• Good neighbors keep a well-maintained lawn
• Good neighbors also keep landscaping — bushes, plants, etc. — neat and trim
• Exteriors of the house and other buildings are maintained and in good repair
• Good neighbors also help keep their right-of-way litter-free and mowed if possible
• They also keep their street, road or neighborhood attractive, with picking up litter and creating plantings or green spaces to improve the neighborhood’s appearance
• Good neighbors pick up trash when they see it, even when it is not in their yards.
• Good neighbors take pride in their property as well as their neighborhoods
• Good neighbors secure their items in their trucks and vehicles and do not let their trash blow all over our roads
Being a good neighbor is an important part of the social fiber that makes a community great and helps all of us have a better quality of life. Good neighbors should be recognized and appreciated. Now it is your turn. Join us on Facebook and share your thoughts. What qualities make a neighbor a good neighbor to you? You can share your ideas about good neighbors, or you can vent about not-so-good neighbors.
You might even have a good neighbor that you want to compliment, but do not start calling out people who may not be good neighbors.
One more thought to consider: It does not cost a lot of money to be a good neighbor. You do not need a fancy lawn or a yard man; even a modest yard can be clean. But think of others around you who may need help. Do any of your neighbors have health issues or are any maybe down on their luck? Perhaps they could use a neighborly hand in sprucing up their property — with their permission, of course. Do you have elderly or indigent neighbors who might appreciate a neighbor’s assistance? I hope when I get to that point that I will have neighbors that care.
Reach out and be a good neighbor this week! Keep it clean! Keep it green!