When I was younger, the neighbors all knew each other. They would all watch over each other's children, they would hand out the best candies or treats at Halloween, they would give small gifts to one another. These days, not many people know their neighbors. I am guilty of this myself. I am a forever smile and wave-er, but I am also very much an introvert and sometimes it gets way too peopley out there!
I had always thought that I might want to live in those kinds of neighborhoods that had the group yard sales and the street wide barbeques on the holidays but that's just not me as much as I love to admire it from afar.
But we can still do kind things for those who happen to live around us.
Here's a few suggestions you could try to pour out some love to those who live nearby.
-You could mow the lawn or shovel snow for those who are elderly or ill or who have just had a baby! (You'll know by the balloons!)
-You could make them a meal. If you're making one for yourself, you could easily double it!
-If you have a new neighbor move in, please do something to make them feel welcome! Leave them a basket of cleaning supplies, or paint brushes, packaged snacks, toilet paper, or light bulbs, maybe a potted plant. Maybe pet treats if they have furbabies. Or an outdoor game for kids if they arrive with those too. It's an uncomfortable and exciting thing starting a life in a new place. Do what you can to ease them into it!
-You could leave a flower, a gift card, a basket of goodies on their doorstep.
-You could purchase some groceries for those who may be having a rough time.
-You could strike up a conversation with no motive... just to say hi. Weird, I know.
-You could pull their trash cans back from the curb- or vice versa.
-You could do a donation collection- leave them a note saying you're getting ready to drop off items at the local Salvation Army or women's shelter, or children's home and the day you'll be by to pick it up. All they have to do is leave it on their porch in a plastic trash bag with a note, so you know what to take... and then... take it.
- You could organize a community garden.
-You could organize a street food drive.
-And yes, it could be YOU that got that annual BBQ or yard sale tradition started.
There are so many things we can do to be kind to each other without having to be uncomfortable. Choose your level of social comfort and decide what you can do!