Reaching Out Across the Fences

When a new neighbor moves in, I make sure I welcome them into the neighborhood with a small gift such as a plant or cookies as well as a card. When I lived in the mid – west, a neighbor once greeted me with a gift of a welcome mat and a beautiful card with her contact information on it. I will never forget her kindness and have adopted this welcoming act ever since.

I follow this up with an invite for coffee. I do this because I remember only too well the coldness I experienced through some of my moves (and I have been through a lot of moves!).  It is a simple thing, but these days we are too busy or just don’t do neighborly things anymore. We could be more welcoming in schools and workplaces too.

I grew up in England and remember how my mother used to chat with our next door neighbor over a small break in the fence (many back yards have six-foot fences there). It was quite cute to see, and when my father decided he needed to repair the fence, both ladies protested. They said they wished there was no fence at all between them.

I don’t know about you, but I like and need to know who lives next door to me and to get to know them. We can make so many assumptions about people until we get acquainted with them. In my book, “A Mindful Move, Feel at home again,” I explain why it is so important to get to know your neighbors. 

I live in the US now. What I have always loved most about America is that it is so accepting of differences (at least in most parts of the country I have lived in). It is painful to see that changing now in a Trump era. However, it is also heartwarming to see many people reaching out across the fences and making their “neighbors” feel supported and not alone.

In a divided country, we need this kind of neighborliness more than every before.  Why not try doing it today?. Reach out and get to know someone new. When were you last neighborly? When was someone neighborly to you? Share with us here. 

Kiran Prasad has relocated 29 times and calls Portland, Oregon home now.

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