Do you ever stop to think about the people in your life whose names you may not know? The family that lives next door, the man that works in the office down the hall, or the greeter at the gym? These people aren’t family, friends, coworkers, or even necessarily acquaintances. But these people are more integral in your life than you may realize. These are the familiar faces that you see on a daily basis, people you likely take for granted. September 28th is Good Neighbor Day, so what can you do to better appreciate those nameless neighbors in your life?
- Recognize. As you go through your day, take time to be more aware of the people you interact with. Chances are, there are people that you see and interact with more frequently than you realize. As you leave your house look around the block and observe the people that live in your neighborhood. As you make it in to work or school, try and recognize the people working in the offices or rooms next door. When you go to the gym, acknowledge the person greeting you as you walk in. At the grocery store, is it the same person that checks you out each week? Think about all the places you go to on a regular basis, and more importantly, the people that live or work there. These people help bring consistency to your life.
- Appreciate. Now that you’re more aware of these neighbors in your life it’s time to start appreciating them. Think about their Think about the fact that they too are an individual going through their day and that you are an fundamental part of their daily routine as well. With each small interaction you have the potential to make an impact on their day. Wave to your neighbor mowing the lawn as you leave the house. Smile and say hello to the woman working in the office next door as you both walk into the building. Say an extra thank you to the man checking you out at the grocery store.
- Do more. It’s “Good Neighbor” Day, not “Simply Acknowledge the Existence of Your Neighbor” Day. This is a day to do something a little more special for these anonymous passersby in your life. Invite that family next door over for dinner. Instead of just saying hello to the people you share an office space with, stop them and ask them how their day is going. When you go into the gym or grocery store, learn the names of the people assisting you. Perhaps doing something so direct and personal is out of your comfort zone. There are more subtle ways to be a good neighbor. Leave a gift card in your neighbor’s mailbox. Pay for the groceries of the person behind you in line. Give a friendly note to the greeter at the gym.
Being a good neighbor is more than just going about your business and not causing issues. Every time you step out your front door you have the potential to be a positive presence in your local community. A good neighbor doesn’t just put their head down and avoid human interaction – a good neighbor seeks out ways to appreciate their fellow neighbor and brighten their days. September 28th is a great day to start being a good neighbor. But don’t let it stop there. Every day is a great day to be a Good Neighbor.