As the years have progressed society has changed in the US. And you can't see just how much it has changed until you have spent some time living in a residential neighborhood. People lead busy lives and seldom have time for their own family much less their neighbors.
But I can remember a time when I was much younger. Back then you spent time visiting with your neighbors and everyone knew each other by name. Neighbors would keep an eye on each other's property when they went away on long trips and some even helped with carrying in groceries, shoveling snow, and moving.
There may still be places where this behavior is common but in the majority of neighborhoods people no longer make much effort to meet and know their neighbors. It has caused a lot of issues. Some of them include but are not limited to: child prostitution rings, drug activity, abusive family relations (especially towards children and women), robberies, property damage, and even murders!
And the sad thing is all you have to do is read the news to find yet another story telling how neighbors didn't even know such activities were or did happen next door! Its ridiculous!
I think part of the problem is that people are afraid to "intrude" in the private lives of others. But honestly, I love it when my neighbors talk to me! Even more so when I'm invited over for desert or a meal! How many people would feel the same way? And I absolutely love it when my neighbors help me clear my driveway from snow and ice.
I suppose this post seems a bit negative but I do believe there are things we can all do to help change the way society views neighbors. It all begins with getting over our fears. Its true that life is more dangerous now than before. We most likely all live near a registered child molester. That can be very scary news to couples with children. But it might be safer to make friends with other neighbors who have families of their own. You could watch out for each other's kids.
Or how about the couple that comes from a different culture than yourself? Why not ring their doorbell and give them an invitation to have a cook-out and get acquainted? Many other cultures thrive on friendly neighbor interactions. They might be more excited about this than you!
Another way now to keep in touch with neighbors is to have them give you their phone numbers and email addresses. It can make planning visits more convenient if going to their doors is too uncomfortable for you. Another thought is to see how you could help a neighbor.
There are so many possibilities! I really believe that it is safer and more enjoyable to interact with your neighbors, even in apartments, than to isolate yourself. You never know how a neighbor might be a blessing to you in the future. But beyond all of this is the direct command from God to be kind to others.
So let's all strive to be better neighbors to our neighbors and ask God to use us in blessings them and in so doing pointing them to the character of Jesus Christ. :)