What Makes A Good Neighbourhood?
We will probably all have slightly different ideas, but there may be some things most people agree on. Things like an area that is safe, is friendly for children and has services everyone can access. A place where people take pride in their homes and surroundings.
There is something else that makes up a good neighbourhood. That is, good neighbours. I think we would all agree that the people of an area can make it a wonderful place to live or a miserable one. But what is a good neighbour? I recently saw a movie, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’. It was about a children’s TV host, Mr Rogers, and a journalist, Lloyd Vogel. Lloyd went to interview Mr Rogers, hoping to discover his secret faults. But what he found was the nicest person he had ever met. Mr Rogers saw everyone as a potential neighbour. He treated people with kindness and seemed to create community wherever he went.
So, what kind of community would you like to live in? We can create a positive community, wherever we are, by being thoughtful and kind neighbours. A good neighbour is considerate, thinks about others, is willing to lend a hand, and uses their words carefully when they talk about people. I see this when I look at Yarrabilba. I see people lending a hand, supporting their neighbours, and being considerate. But I also sometimes see the opposite, and I’m sure you do too. The truth is that we can all improve as neighbours.
If I may give an example, social media is a space where we can help create community or destroy it. If I see a post that I disagree with, I have a choice …
I can type the first angry words that come to my mind. Or, I can pause, think about it, and try to see the other person’s point of view. When I do that, I’m more likely to write something that calms the situation and doesn’t cause an argument or hurt someone’s feelings. We can do the same in our face to face contacts with neighbours. Staying in control of yourself while you are disagreeing with someone is one way to win respect.
Being a good neighbour means thinking about what I’m doing when I’m at home and when I’m out. I can affect my neighbourhood and help to make it a pleasant place to live, and so can you.
Who needs you to be a good neighbour? We all do!