Monday, June 16, 2014

Day #77: Love Thy Neighbor

Last fall I was talking with some neighborhood friends about having a block party.  They suggested I take the lead and put one together and without hesitation I did.  I quickly had a great group of people to assist and we began planning.  The goal was to create a laid-back, casual event to give people living within our subdivision the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon/evening together with their neighbors.  It would not be anything over-the-top:  simplicity was the key.

We live in such a busy time many of us do not even know who lives a few doors down.  Isn't it a shame we may be missing out on some wonderful friendships for ourselves and our children because we're too busy to take the time to reach out and introduce ourselves to our neighbors? Some of us may feel intimidated or shy to say a simple "hello" or afraid of feeling uncomfortable. Whatever your reason, put it aside, make the first move, and get to know the people living around you!

I am thrilled we put this event together and encouraged many of my neighbors connected with others they had never met (our family included!).  My kids had a wonderful time, played with their neighborhood friends, and stayed up WAY past their bedtimes.  It was so worth it, though! My husband and I got the opportunity to meet new people and enjoy time with our friends as well. The block party was a win-win for everyone.

The days of the Welcome Wagon, casseroles, and random rings of the doorbell seem to be gone, but we can swim against the tide.  Take a chance!  Perhaps you will be the answer to a stay-at-home mom's prayer for companionship or your child will find a lifelong friend just down the street.  You may be able to offer help to someone who is struggling, be a welcome friendly face to someone who is sad about what they have left behind, or able to provide a connection they have been searching for.  Whatever the outcome, sitting idly on the sidelines will certainly leave the door closed.

This is a great lesson for our children in hospitality and being a good neighbor and a simple one at that!  If you're still feeling hesitant, turn it into a family event:  bake something yummy and drop it off at the new neighbor's house.  In the end, you'll be glad you did!

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