If you are reading this, you are probably thinking, “Oh man, my thoughts exactly!” We have all had them and have heard plenty about them…bad neighbors.
- Junk all over the place
- Barking dogs
- Screaming kids
- Wal-Mart neighbors
- Inappropriate holiday decorations
- Parties all the time
- Spousal fighting
- Spying on you
- The gossipers
- the list goes on…
The question for this post is what to do about them. I will not hold you in suspense…the answer is nothing. This issue is probably more about your own personality than anything else. Most neighbors, with the exception of a few obvious ones, are decent people with slightly different views on things. A big problem is called festering. Here is a scenario: You move into a new neighborhood and live there for a few years. No one (because of the new world we live in) ever really gets to know each other, or introduces themselves to each other, for that matter. You keep noticing different things that your neighbors do (and trust me, we all notice the things our neighbors do, and vice-versa). After a while, you start complaining to yourself about all the stupid things that everyone in the neighborhood does and these things become REALLY annoying to you. This is where it starts…and very soon, you may snap. Have you ever had this feeling?
Now, think about your childhood. Think back about how much you used to scream or terrorize the neighborhood and how much of a mess you used to make…your bike laying on the front yard for days. Think about how the basketball hoop was on its side in the driveway for months at a time right next to the broken lawnmower. Think about the effect that had on your neighbors.
Now think about today. Think about how much your dog barks and how much your kids scream. Now, think about the neighbors that you do like and actually talk to. What kind of annoying things do they do? If you really pay attention, they probably do most of the things that everyone else does, but you don’t pay attention to it anymore because you like these people. Why do you like them? Most likely because they introduced themselves to you way back when you first moved in and now you have an affinity toward them. I guess it’s common human nature…dislike and distrust of the unknown or unfamiliar.
There are tons of websites about this topic, but here are a few really funny ones:
If you browse through these, you will find a common theme – revenge. The people who write in and share their stories truly want revenge. They want to hurt their neighbors physically, mentally and financially. You know, I bet that if these neighbors just sat down and had a conversation with each other and got over themselves, everything would be ok.
Say you have a neighbor who is a slob. What ever happened to the world where one of us walked over there and asked if we could help out? No, I guess we don’t do that anymore.
The point is this – we all come from different sub-cultures and cultures. We all have different ways of doing things. We have got to learn how to put up with one another or we will just live our lives complaining about one another. Let’s get involved with the sloppy guy and the kids down the road. Let’s get drunk at least once with the Peacock family across the way. Let’s try to understand what makes these people tick and get used to them, because if we don’t, we will just keep running to different towns across the country to one day find a perfectly situation neighborhood full of people just like us. After a few months, we will find something we don’t like about them either.
Think hard before you choose to dismiss your neighbors, because they will most likely be the ones to call the fire department if your house is on fire or stop on the highway when you have a flat tire. At least try to love…or at a minimum like thy neighbor.