“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our lives are filled with competing strains and stresses. Work, children to chauffeur hither and yon, plays and sports events, religious commitments, personal time, dates with our significant others, and much more clamor for our attention and time. Life becomes exhaustingly “filled to the brim” causing our vision to narrow and our awareness to shrink.
The call of Dr. King’s question is readily answered as our vision widens and our awareness broadens in our own neighborhoods.
Neighborliness = Community
Neighborliness is an integral part of North Ogden’s history and is deeply ingrained in its culture. Good relationships with our neighbors bring many benefits to us as individuals, and to North Ogden as a community. It provides a sense of security and comfort knowing that there are people who are willing to help in times of need. It leads to new friendships and provides a sense of community, belonging, and strength. Sharing experiences, ideas, and resources with neighbors builds a stronger community spirit and a sense of unity.
As North Ogden continues to grow, the importance of unity – One North Ogden – also grows. As we strive to strengthen and focus on our individual neighborhoods, we will simultaneously lift the entire community. The unity of the past will permeate into our current times.
Spring is just around the corner. We’ll all be outside more and the opportunities to be neighborly will abound. Here are some ideas to help get the neighborly ball rolling:
• Look Up and Look Around: Make it a habit to be aware of your neighborhood when you’re outside. Lift your vision and you’ll see many opportunities to be neighborly.
• Learn the Names of Your Neighbors: four doors to the right and four doors to the left, on both sides of the street. Once you know those names, expand your reach.
• Be Friendly: say hello and have a small talk when you see your neighbors. A simple gesture of kindness can go a long way in building relationships. Make a point to reach out to neighbors who are not in your usual societal, religious, or social circles.
• Offer Help: if you see a neighbor in need, help them. Whether it’s helping them carry groceries, offering to pick up their mail when they are away, dragging their trash cans off the street, or shoveling their walk, small acts of kindness will break down barriers and build a sense of community.
• When You See a Neighbor: Smile, beep your horn, or wave.
Mark Twain once made the statement “Good exercise for the heart: Reach out and help your neighbor.”
Councilmember Phillip Swanson