Caring for Friends & Neighbors as Family…
How well do you know your next door neighbors? Do you wave at each other when you pass each other in the courtyard? Have you formed a Neighborhood Watch? Have you shared meals together? These are just some simple ways you may connect with the people that live around you.
Your relationships with your friends and neighbors can extend to more than just friendly hellos and shared dinners. Have you ever considered treating your acquaintances like they were part of your family? What would be the benefit of that?
It is important to have social relationships. These are the people you enjoy being with for activities, lunch dates, and sporting events. Your friends and neighbors can also be individuals that you call on when you're needing help, to talk about difficult emotions, and to share hardships. When you feel a sense of trust, you are more likely to share these more intimate parts of yourself to others. In the ideals situation, your friends would show a mutual respect by lending a hand, listening to you, and not judging you for your feelings or actions.
We are all in need in relationships like this. For some, you may be able to have these type of connections with some of your close family members. When you're able to broaden that type of relationship with others, it is beneficial in many ways. Expanding your social relationships to include more intimate connections also enhances the idea of what humanity means.
In our communities today, there can be a sense of distrust, disconnection, and dishonesty. Rather than treating others with respect and appreciation, we are pushing each other away. This is very harmful for humanity; we are communal beings. We need the connection of others. That connection includes love and honesty, but also the motivation to help one another in times of need. When a friend is hurting, we need to put our egos and differences aside to lend a helping hand, an ear for listening, or a shoulder to cry on. If we look closely enough, we will see that we are more alike than different. We also have hurts, we've all made mistakes, we've experienced joy and love. It is time to fully embrace these human experiences that we all share with one another.
How to be More Caring to Your Friends and Neighbors
If you're wanting to become closer to your social friends around you, it is quite simple to do. If your neighbor is working in the yard, for example, offer to help them out. When you're sharing beer at the pub, ask how your friend is "really" doing, then listen. These are just small ways to show that you care. It is a way to extend a part of yourself to another being without the desire to receive something in return. You are just acting in a way in which you'd like to be treated, too.
If you want to be cared for, show that care for others. This is what it means to be human; to recognize that we are social beings that need one another. Take the time to widen the circle of your social family by showing more care and appreciation for your friends and neighbors.
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