A Simple Way to Make Your Neighborhood More Friendly

community_clip_art_8Recently while walking back from Saint Mary’s Park where I exercise in the morning, two women I didn’t know were standing on the street corner near my apartment.

As I passed them by, I said, “Good morning.”

They each greeted me in kind. And then one of them said, “This is friendly neighborhood, isn’t it?”

And that made me wonder.

Are Neighborhoods Friendly?

I’ve been thinking about her comment ever since. Do you think neighborhoods are friendly? Or is it just the people who live in them who are friendly.

My neighborhood in the South Bronx, where people are brown and black and yellow and beige, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, legal and illegal, law-abiding and criminal — is not an obvious candidate for “friendly neighborhood” status.

But for six years now, I’ve been walking to and from Saint Mary’s Park most mornings and greeting everyone I pass with a simple “Good morning.” And almost without fail, people greet me back.

Perhaps the woman on the street corner was right. I do live in a friendly neighborhood.

Or perhaps, every neighborhood is just waiting to be friendly.

Maybe all it takes is a few people who are willing to say “Good morning” to people they don’t know.

After all, kindness is contagious… and it’s wonderful for a healthy life.

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Make Your Neighborhood Friendlier

This week, as you move through your neighborhood, see what you can do to contribute to making it friendly. You might try a simple “hello” or just nodding to people you pass. Play close attention to how you feel when they greet you in kind and whether those small interactions change your sense of where you live. Who knows…you might start a long-lasting trend in your community.

What other simple things can you do to make your neighborhood friendlier? Share your ideas in the comments below.

  • Randy

    Hmmm – this can be a deep topic concerning friendly or not so friendly neighborhoods but I will stick with the question at hand. I believe in one thing that all human beings are relational – I have known some hardcore folks and some not so tough folks and we all want one thing. For someone to accept them no matter the flaws they have. We constantly seek to find a person to know us and say – I know your negatives but I dont care – I will associate with you – so it can start off as a friendly hello, but I say go further. I have learned this especially in network marketing. People love talking about themselves – we seem to not have the freedom to do that often and many times I will see a stranger – such as the Ehrlich guy that I met a couple of days ago. It started off as hello and the next thing I knew – I now know about his new startup business and the location. I know his passion to help ppl and about the type of person his wife is. All because I was genuinely interested in him. So a simple hello can place a smile on someone’s face – but try to notice something about them. Clothing, hair, mood, sports team and start a conversation. You could be speaking with a future good friend – :).

    sidebar:
    that same Ehrlich guy – as he spoke I saw a need that I could fulfill and let him know that I had access to some items he was looking for. He then said – Wow I have been praying to find some and I had no idea where to start – Thank You.

    You unlock the doors to be helpful and not only brighten someone’s day but you may be the answer to someone’s prayer. Be Friendly – go talk to someone 🙂