Hey, you’re a human, right? And chances are, you live in a neighborhood. So here are Thirteen Ways to be a Good Human in Your Neighborhood.
1. Send your kids to the neighborhood pulic schools. Get involved with the parent/teacher organization. Start one if there isn’t one already. Give money to the school if you can afford to. If you would consider prvate school, instead consider donating a fraction of what you would pay for tuition directly to your children’s classrooms. Encourage your neighbors to join you in sendng their children there, too. You’ll be amazed how much a school can improve with parental involvement. Find out where your children’s classmates live. Organize a “walking schoolbus”.
2. Grow a garden. Share the bounty with your neighbors.
3. Get to know any old folks in the neighborhood. Check in on them once in a while, or at least say hi when you see them on the street. When the zucchinis start going wild, make them some zucchini bread and take it to them. Ask them about neigborhood history.
4. Learn all the kids’ names. Find out how old they are and where they go to school.
5. Use organic practices in your yard. Think of yourself as a steward of the land, not an owner. Care for it with the next residents in mind, be they human, animal or plant.
6. Compost. Make dirt. Recycle grass clippings and food scraps into rich, luscious soil to grow nutritious, environmentally beneficial food.
7. Have a block party. Or a progressive party. We keep talking about doing a progressive party on our block, but it we haven’t pulled it off yet.
8. Mend fences. Literally. We love our neighbors and the privacy fence between us.
9. Well, we don’t love all our neighbors. Like the ones on the other side. We wish they’d let their dog piss and poop in the yard instead of on the patio. Even if they can’t be persuaded to let the dog off the patio to do his business, maybe they could hose down the patio once in a while? So anyway, if you have pets, treat them well, and don’t let them be a nuisance to others.
10. If you have a conflict with a neighbor, try to be the bigger person about it. Don’t call the city on their ass, except as a last measure, and only if you’re sure the city will cite them. Call the city. A friendly public employee will tell you something like, “If there’s more than six piles of dog shit, we can write them up. Anything less, there’s nothing we can do.”
11. Don’t hold a grudge. Hose the damn patio down when they’re away. Use their hose and water. When the octegenarian granny who lives there asks what you’re doing, explain it to her. Take her some of that zucchini bread later.
12. Take walks around the block after dinner when the weather’s nice.
13. On May Day, make May Day baskets. Leave them on people’s porches, ring their bells, and run away. (I like May Day. It’s International Workers’ Day.)
Happy Thursday, one and all!