As we are thinking about the upcoming elections and the changes we want to see in our city, state and world, I think that we should follow Gandhi's famous advice (and my favorite quote): "You must be the change you want to see in the world." This may not be a tangible DIY project, but it is both fun and important.
How to be a Good Neighbor: (inspired by the Belhaven Courier)
-Go meet any neighbors on your block you don't know.
-Wave to your neighbors as you drive past and introduce yourself to neighbors as you walk.
-Shop at your local neighborhood stores.
-Keep your house and yard presentable.
-Don't leave your trashcans and recycling bins by the road all week.
-Carry a bag to clean up when you walk your dog.
-Don't play loud music or use loud tools early in the morning or late in the evening.
-Sit on your stoop and greet neighbors walking by.
-Organize a neighborhood party.
-Start a neighborhood group such as a book club, a volunteer group or a babysitting co-op.
More DIY community-building resources abound. Check out "Neighbors: Celebrating Folks on the Block" by Rachel Celia Laws. Visit northernsun.com and look at the ideas on their posters "How to Build Community" and "How to Build Global Community." Both are also available as note cards, perfect for passing around to folks on the block.
What ideas do you have for strengthening your neighborhood?
My idea: Walk a lot. The presence of people in a neighborhood make it safer and more inviting.
The presence of people in the neighborhood is a wonderful idea. I have also found that if you see someone looking suspicious walking down the street, go right up to them, say hello, and get a good description of them. This is because it might be helpful in the future as far as if anything criminal is going on in the neighborhood. If they are a potential criminal, this will make them a bit paranoid about being in that neighborhood.
Good advice. You should also give the kids candy on Halloween, something I hate to do because you have to keep opening the door for hours. Unless you do what I'm doing this year - putting a tub of candy by the door with a note saying all of it is yours, don't take more than 5-10 pieces each, i'm watching you on close-circuit television, the boogie man will get you if you cheat, I know your parents and the polices, too.
Don't make me call them!
- Ray Carter
My suggestion is to do something nice for your neighbor without expecting anything in return. For instance, whe I use the leaf blower to get all the leaves and pine needles off the driveway, I do the same for my neighbors since they are disabled and their daughter works long hours as a nurse.