Being a Good Neighbor

by Jonathan Longnecker

I’ll admit it. I’m not really a social person. We’ve lived in our neighborhood almost 6 years and I can count the number of times we’ve talked to our neighbors on my hand. And by talk I mean had a full conversation. So yeah, not a lot.

Several weeks ago we put our house on the market. Too many kids, not enough rooms; you know the drill. We’ve outgrown this place, unfortunately. And in preparation to sell it, we needed to finish replacing all the doors and trim we had started a couple of years ago. Since my gifts are in handcrafting pixels, my wife’s dad came to the rescue, taking a week off from work and plowing through our huge list of repairs, updates and so on.

It just so happened that one particular door opening was not quite wide enough for the door that was supposed to go in it. There were a lot of tools down in the garage, but a planer was not one of them. Fortunately we noticed the guy across the street seemed to have all sorts of tools and was always outside working on their house.

Didn’t people use to borrow their neighbor’s tools all the time? Yeah I’ve seen that on old TV shows. Hopefully he’s not an axe murderer or something. So we decide we should go see if we can borrow the planer. And by that I mean I sent my wife over to talk to them because I was “busy” painting a door. I need to get out more.

So our neighbor not only lends us the planer, but comes over himself to do it! Now that’s being neighborly. While shaving down our door we find out that he does renovations for a living, and he’s a really cool guy.

Guess who we hired to finish up a few last minute jobs around the house 2 weeks later? Not the guys we know at church, not the cousin’s uncle of our friends. The guy across the street. The good neighbor.

Maybe instead of ranting and moaning about how no one appreciates designers we could try being a good neighbor today. Go the extra mile and help someone figure out that CSS problem, or take a few minutes and answer a business question from a young company. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it might just get you a job down the road. I guarantee it will get you a fan.

Oh, and by the way if you need some work done on your house and you’re in the Knoxville area I highly recommend Blake Lay at Blayd Renovations. He does great work on time and in budget.

March 25, 2010

Business, Personal


  1. Great, you finally made acquaintances with the neighbor… Now it’s time to move.

    So much more could get done in the world if we help each other out! But since this is a blog, I’m assuming that you’re preaching to the converted.

  2. I love this because it’s a perfect example of learning from living. I have had similar experiences. I knew all the kids from the neighborhood I grew up in but never cared to really get to know anyone else. I ended up meeting people as I got older that lived right around the corner from me.

    You never know what one act of kindness is going to do. You can also say the same for the flip side. Be careful who you get angry with or what you get offended by.

    I really like what you’re saying about helping others out. Isn’t that what the internet’s all about? Unless you’re Trekkie Monster (yeah, that’s an Avenue Q reference).

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