Mr. Rogers would open his show with this song every week on PBS. He had an opinion about how we should act as neighbors. It seemed if we were kind and inclusive, we’d fit the bill. At FCC recently, we’ve been talking about what makes a good neighbor and it’s made me wonder: Would people in my neighborhood say I am a good neighbor?
If not having loud barking dogs that annoy others (most of the time), keeping our yard tidy (most of the time), and seeming to be pretty much like everyone else in our ‘hood, then I suppose we are good neighbors. But after hearing the recent messages on The Good Neighbor, I think there is so much more that Jesus calls us to do to actually be good neighbors.
Being a good neighbor takes time and effort. It’s more than just waiving as we drive past, or attending a once a year Home Owners Meeting: it’s making a real connection with those around us. It’s finding out about their lives; how they feel about things; what they are struggling with and how can we help. It’s the ACTION that comes after the conversation. It’s the love we show them as we’re hanging out together.
There are many opportunities that will come our way to connect with others, in and out of our immediate neighborhood, if we’ll only be open to them. That means we really take the time to invest in others and learn their story, NOT just pretend to listen while we think about all the things on our To Do List.
Based on that definition, how are you doing? If you asked your neighbors ‘Am I a good neighbor’, what would they say?