For nearly 40 years, TV personality Fred Rogers gained the adoration of generations of children as host of the popular PBS program Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He would begin each show by singing the familiar lyrics, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood / A beautiful day for a neighbor / Would you be mine? / Could you be mine?”
Easier sung than done. In America, less than 50 percent of suburban residents say they have at least one face-to-face conversation with a neighbor every week. Everyone has schedules to keep, errands to run, and lives to live. However, getting to know the people next door could have long-lasting benefits when it comes to pets, loud parties, and security.
According to the American Veterinary Association, 38.4 percent of households own one or more dogs. That means chances are pretty high that either you or one of your immediate neighbors has a canine at home. While dogs provide valuable companionship, they can also raise a ruckus with loud barking. Building a relationship with your neighbors can inspire them to go the extra mile to keep their puppy quieter.
There’s a time-honored tradition of getting together with family and friends to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and holidays. Likewise, watching sporting events, season finales, and movies is always more fun with a crowd. As most have experienced, a simple get-together can turn into a late-night party. By being a good neighbor, you won’t feel awkward to send a quick message to indicate it’s getting late. Likewise, your neighbor will expect the same courtesy from you.
Going out of your way to share a friendly conversation with the people who live around will benefit your community and your household. Building confidence with others means you won’t feel awkward if you need to call on someone for a favor. Likewise, be the kind of person who is willing to lend a hand by picking up someone’s mail, sparing a cup of sugar, or watching their home while they’re out of town.
We’re all in this together. Boost your happiness and that of those around you by being a good neighbor, and you can reap the benefits when they mind their pets, keep the noise from get-togethers to a minimum, and lend a helping hand in your time of need. As Mr. Rogers used to sing, “Let’s make the most of this beautiful day / Since we’re together / Might as well say / Would you be my / Could you be my / Won’t you be my neighbor?”