Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How well do you know your neighbors?

I walk this precious puppy about two times a day and make the "loop" around the neighborhood. That makes it approximately 14 times a week I walk around my neighborhood. Why is it that I don't know anyone but my immediate neighbor? There are plenty of people out there walking their dogs or in their yards either playing with their children or doing yard work!

I am not saying that I look the other way, but a friendly wave and "how are you doing" is as close as it gets to being a real conversation. Why do I even say "how are you doing" when all I do is walk past them not even waiting for a response. People do this all the time, and it made me think- man...we are a lost generation. We ask people how they are doing and either don't wait for a response or really don't care to hear one!

Well, just the other day I was walking down my street and an elderly lady was gardening in her yard and she said "hey sadie" (my dogs name). I though how does she know my dogs name? I have never spoken to her, I just usually wave and say "how are you"? But the fact that she knew Sadie, I stopped and we started to have a REAL conversation. She talked about how she was sorting through all her papers to get ready for tax time and that she ran across a letter I SENT! (It was to let my neighbors know that I was now into real estate and if there was anything I could help them with, just to contact me).

Frozen, I couldn't get any words out of my mouth. I just thought that I was missing a vital part of life- that this lovely woman took the time to read my letter, yet I never took the time to get to know her! After sitting with her in the yard while she gardened, I got to know all about her kids and her brother and how she used to fostered dogs. It was the best conversation I have had in a really long time.

Now, every time I walk, if I am going to say hi and ask "how are you doing" I will mean it! I have been missing out on getting to know my neighbors who have a lot to give. My goal is at least once I day I have a real conversation with someone in my neighborhood. My challenge to you is get to know your neighbors- they will intrigue you, I promise! And if you are going to ask someone how they are doing- mean it and wait for a response- you will be surprised. This is how new friendships grow!


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