Do you remember the children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? His theme song featured the phrase “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and he taught children about being good neighbors. On Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day, his legacy of kindness is honored by children and adults alike.
Fred Rogers is quoted as saying “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
We could all use a bit more of a neighborly spirit in our world. When you live in a neighborhood, things only get nicer and safer when neighbors get to know each other and help each other out. That’s why Neighborhood Watch groups can be so effective. According to a 2008 analysis by the U.S. Justice Department Citizen policing programs were associated with a “significant reduction in crime.”
You don’t have to have a Neighborhood Watch to start the process of being more neighborly in your community, however. Just taking the effort to get to know your neighbors a little better or go out of your way to do something nice for them is a great first step.
You could even plan a Block Party this summer to start building up your community. Check out this excerpt from our blog post “The Block Party Is The Most Important Event Of The Year”:
Why is it important to get to know your neighbors? A strong community sticks together to keep their eyes open for when things might go wrong. Whether you accidentally left your garage door open or if someone is creeping around outside your front door, a neighbor is likely to notice when something strange is going on. Building good relationships with these neighbors means they are comfortable bringing up concerns with you and know how to contact you.
You don’t necessarily get to choose your neighbors, and you might not always have good ones. In honor of Fred Rogers, though, try to think of something nice, no matter how small, that you could do to be a better neighbor. And if you have kids, you can watch an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with them to start instilling neighborliness at a young age!