These days, I think it is fair to say that there is less of a neighbourhood culture than there has been in the past. I suppose this isn’t a surprising progression – people tend to lead busier lives, there are not as many people at home during the day and with the increase in apartment living there is less of that familiarity you get between people seeing each other out on the street on a daily basis.
While not unexpected I still think it is a bit of a shame that people aren’t as ‘neighbourly’ anymore, as there can be great benefit to knowing and getting along with the people who live around you.
In the first instance, simply knowing and being able to say a simple hello to neighbours when you see them can often help to make your general lifestyle more pleasant. You don’t have to have lengthy conversations – even a quick wave and acknowledgement can be a nice way to start your day.
In more practical terms, having a reasonably good relationship with your neighbours could be advantageous when you go away on holiday. Your neighbours will usually be happy to keep an eye on your home for you, watching out for any suspicious behaviour. This presence may help you to feel more comfortable and better able to enjoy yourself while away.
A neighbourly relationship can also be beneficial when it comes to your children, especially if they like to play outside your home or even on the street. If there are other children who are also playing outside, it can help to have a good relationship with their parents (your neighbours), whereby the responsibility of watching out for any dangers can be shared amongst a group rather than borne by a few different individuals.
Another area where having established relationships can be of help is when it comes to the dissemination of community news. Often things will happen in your local area that are not necessarily reported publicly, however still relate to you. Your neighbours may have knowledge of these events that they will pass on to you in the conversations that you may have as you pass each other by, whether it is when parking your cars, or in a proper catch-up over a cup of coffee.
When it comes down to it, unless you are living in an area where the rental turnover is very high and people are continuously coming and going, you could be living near the same people for an extended period of time. Simply taking the time to introduce yourself and establishing a rapport with them could make your home life much easier and enjoyable.