It’s the time of year that people make resolutions–things they hope to achieve in the coming year. I don’t like the word “resolutions” because I can never seem to keep them, but I do like the word “goals.” One of my goals for 2018 is to live a life of kindness and generosity and teach my children to do the same. With that in mind, my co-authors and friends Kendra, Julie, and I have come up with a list of 10 Ways to Be Kind to Your Neighbor as a starting point to kick off the new year. If you’d like to print it instead, here’s a handy link to a PDF file.
1. Snowblow their sidewalks or mow their lawns while they are on vacation.
2. Create a tool-lending library where everyone catalogs what tools they own. Exchange lists so
neighbors can borrow infrequently used tools instead of buying them.
3. Have a dessert party in the winter where everyone brings a dessert to share, eliminating the pressure to make a whole meal. (You could also make this a summer patio party with appetizers.)
4. Invite an elderly person or couple over for dinner or to be a part of a family outing or holiday.
5. Plan a weekly neighborhood potluck when the weather is nice. You could put a sign in the yard of the person hosting each week so everyone will know where to gather.
6. Host a neighborhood game night indoors or a movie night outdoors (using a projector on a garage door). Ask everyone to bring a favorite snack to share.
7. Share something you enjoy with one of your neighbors. You might bring them a homemade treat, deliver fresh vegetables or flowers from your garden, or invite them along on a fishing excursion.
8. Host a back-to-school bonfire in the fall.
9. Offer to pet-sit, collect mail, or water flowers when a neighbor is out of town.
10. Double a recipe when you cook a meal and bring a batch to your single neighbors.
For more ideas on how you can impact your community with kindness, read Julie, Kendra, and Kristin’s
book The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness. See your family grow, change, and become more engaged with the needs of the world around them. Available online or in bookstores everywhere.