The Gratitude of Having Good Neigbors and Creating Neighborship

I remember a story of a young couple driving into a town and stopping at the gas station for gas, they asked the attendant, “We are moving away from the city. Can you tell us what kind of a town is this? Are the people nice?” The gas station attendant answered their question with a question, “What are the people like where you come from?”

The fellow responded, “They are a bunch of liars and cheats. We had to get out while the getting was good!” The attendant said, “Well, you’ll find that the people here are just like the people there.” The couple paid for their gas and drove on.

Later another couple drove into town, stopped for gas and talked to the attendant, “This seems like a nice town. What are the people like?” The attendant again answered the question with a question, “What are people like where you come from?” “Oh,” said the lady, “they are the nicest people! So friendly and helpful! I really wish that we didn’t have to move, but the company my husband works for has moved to a new location not far from here.” The attendant smiled and said, “ You’ll find that the people here are just like the people there.” Then he added, “I think you’re going to like it here.”

I suppose that story reminds me that good neighbors are welcome everywhere.

I liked my neighbor’s in Long Beach, California. We were renting a small home not too far from the hospital where my wife and I both worked. One of our neighbors was a Hispanic couple that were retired. They had a persimmon tree, and the husband would come over and share with us ripe persimmons. I will always remember how kind he was to us. The other neighbors were also very nice. The house we rented was sold and we moved. In time we landed in our current home. We now live in a city that used to have one church and three bars. Today it has no bars and 8 churches. It seems evident that change comes with time. I was on the interwebs not long ago, on an online community social media site, where an older citizen was commenting on how our town, which he had lived in for decades, was changing and not for the better. I made a comment that with growth, change is inevitable. He asked how long I had lived in town. I told him over twenty years. Then he said, “This town was a lot better before all you new comers moved in!” I was beside myself. How long do you have to live in a community before you are no longer considered “a new comer?” But, I had to chuckle. I’m sure that if he were my neighbor we would get along like peas and carrots. Neighbors can play an important part in our lives. Some of my older neighbors have been a great source of perspective. Some I still look to as mentors. Sadly, with the years, several have passed on and I miss them and our chats. 

No doubt you have great neighbors as well. It’s likely that during the holiday season, there is a fair amount of gifts and cards with a kind sentiment shared. When someone new moves into the neighborhood, it just takes a few kind interactions and that kindness is returned. I guess people feel that once they have vetted you, they can go a little further out of their way for you.  This may sound a little strange, but there sure are a lot of kind people in the world. 

Neighbors are kind of like family, you get what you get. And neighbors can be our friends. And yet, there is something about the Global positioning relationship of neighbors. Perhaps we should call it, a neighborship? Yeah, let’s call it neighborship. Anyway, nurture your neighborship. Keep it healthy. We all appreciate a good neighbor.

By William Boardman

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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