Today, each day is filled with the many tasks we do. We are all extremely busy, many of us rushing around with barely a chance to glance to the side or to have a meaningful conversation with people we see beyond a simple “hello.” We typically live in communities, be it either houses in the suburbs or compacted living conditions in cities, surrounded by people. And, even with all these people around us, but many of us can feel alone and isolated.
We are so busy we hardly have time for the social niceties of by-gone eras. There was a time when people knew their neighbors and often socialized together, not just waving hello in the driveway. Today, many people do not even know their neighbors’ names, let alone anything else about them. Getting to know people, especially neighbors, builds deeper and richer communities. Strong communities tend to thrive and prosper.
Good Neighbor Day is celebrated on 28th of September. This unofficial holiday is a day to get to know our neighbors and to celebrate our communities. Here, at Bliss Products, we service a lot of community-based projects, whether it be putting up a community playground for children or building shade and tables for community gatherings. We see the power that great communal spaces can provide, either for meeting places or recreational areas.
Bliss Products has installed so many different types of outdoor products, truly ‘Everything Under the Sun’ that we have had the great blessing of witnessing first-hand how the right kind of gathering space can transform a social dynamic. People begin to interact with each other more, be it at a cookout or around the playground as kids play. Add a rain protected, shaded area, and suddenly people are playing chess on a picnic table.
Good Neighbor Day was created by Becky Mattson of Arizona in the 1970s to encourage neighbors to be good to each other. In 1978, then American President, Jimmy Carter, issued a proclamation that designated September 24 of that year as National Good Neighbor Day. In 2004, the United States Senate passed a resolution to celebrate September 26 of that year as National Good Neighbor Day. Prior to 2003, the holiday was celebrated on the fourth Sunday in September. This year, it is unofficially celebrated in the U.S. and around the world today, September 28.
Need ideas on how to celebrate? Simple. Be nice to your neighbor – at home or elsewhere. If you don’t know your neighbors well, maybe today is your chance to go up to them and strike up a conversation. Maybe take some baked goods next door. Invite your neighbors over for dinner or even a cookout. Challenge your neighbor to a tennis match. Or, have a block party at neighborhood gathering spaces.