National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28. This day was created to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of a good neighbor.
It is a blessing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor. Good neighbors often become friends. They watch out for each other, lend a helping hand and are there for advice when asked. Neighbors offer that cup of sugar when we are short, collect our mail when we are on vacation, watch our homes and sometimes watch our children and our pets. Simply put, being a good neighbor makes good neighbors and develops lifelong friendships.
In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601:
‘As our Nation struggles to build friendships among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.’ — HT: National Calendar Day
Our society is a rushed society. Most would probably struggle to even know the names of their next-door neighbors. Our day is spent rushing from here to there and because our focus is on the device that is glued to our thumbs, we forget that we are part of the human race. Part of who we are is the need to be around others.
Knowing who is around us helps us to become a better neighbor. If we begin to lift our eyes to see what is around us, we might be surprised how fulfilling it can be to make new acquaintances, to enjoy a backyard BBQ with people living on either side of us, or just being observant enough to help an elderly couple who rarely sees their children or grandchildren anymore.
Today is National Good Neighbor Day, but you can observe it any day of the week, and not just on September 28th. Make plans to step out of your comfort zone and see what you can do to have a better understanding of your neighbors. You never know that such an action may also help save a neighbor’s day from remaining a long day of drudgery. Take a cake, or cookies, or a potted plant, or whatever. That elderly widow may just enjoy a chat and coffee.