The Importance of Saying “Hello” on Good Neighbor Day, and Everyday Plus, Tips on How to be More Connected to your Community
By Harriet Cole
When President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation for Good Neighbor Day in 1978, the country was working to mend fences and build relationships among community members in the midst of turbulent times. Fast forward to 2016 and being a good neighbor is more important than ever – but what does it mean to be a good neighbor, and how do you go about becoming one?
What everyone agrees on:
Good neighbors are universally seen as being proactive, helpful and respectful across all generations and cultures in the U.S.
- Six in ten say that helping a neighbor out with an unexpected need is a trait of a good neighbor.
Generational differences: As Millennials continue to buy homes the definition of what it means to be a good neighbor will continue to evolve.
- Millennials were far more likely than their older counterparts to include ‘socializing’ as a good neighbor trait – yet they are least likely to have engaged in face-to-face conversations in the last month.
- African-Americans are more likely than others to say it is important for neighbors to come together and socialize (66 percent among African Americans vs. 58 percent average).
- When it comes to using technology in neighborhoods, Hispanic Americans are among the most likely to use social media when communicating or connecting with their neighbors (27 percent).
Say Hello: Welcoming is important, but not happening.
- The majority (75 percent) of neighbors say it is important to welcome new neighbors, but only 41 percent say they were welcomed when they moved in.
- Only 46 percent actually welcomed someone new into the neighborhood.
- Thirty-six percent of people are embarrassed that they know so few of their neighbors’ names.
Connecting: Neighbors across all demographics believe it’s important to socialize, but they may not know how or want the responsibility of organizing.
- While six in ten say it is important for neighbors to come together and socialize, only half participate in neighborhood activities and just over a quarter have helped organize a neighborhood event. Surprisingly, men are more likely than women to organize gatherings.
About Harriette Cole, Lifestyle Expert
For 15 years Cole has written the nationally syndicated advice column, Sense & Sensitivity. She has penned 7 books, including the bestselling Jumping the Broom: The African American Wedding Planner, How to Be, Choosing Truth and 108 stitches: words we live by. Cole executive produces and hosts a weekly video series, The Root Live: Bring it to the Table, presented by Prudential. Harriette has been a contributor to the Today Show for more than a decade.
In 2016 Cole launched an inspirational and educational initiative, DREAMLEAPERS, which is a multi-pronged engagement designed to help people access and activate their dreams. Harriette has also coached entertainers, entrepreneurs and business professionals to present their brands effectively, including entertainers Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Carl Thomas, JoJo, Neon Hitch, Nico & Vinz and Andra Day; as well as corporate and not-for-profit professionals such as ZenithOptimedia, MoxieInteractive, Digitas, IPG Mediabrands, BET Networks, the National Urban League, Bank of America and Lockheed Martin. Cole started her career at ESSENCE magazine where she served as Contemporary Living Editor and Fashion Director. She was founding Editorial Director of UPTOWN magazine, editor of American Legacy Woman, and creative director and Editor-in-Chief of EBONY.
This interview is provided by State Farm