I know, I know, with a title like that, you probably might expect me to talk about stranger danger and mention that we never truly know someone until they do something horrific, and show their true colours. How I might say that our neighbours or close friends could be living double lives and we won’t know until much later. But that’s the opposite of what I am going to delve into today. Instead, let me ask you a question. When was the last time you had a conversation with your neighbour, and learn more about their story and life’s journey? When was the last time you said hello, had a cup of coffee with them and talked about a common topic? It may surprise you that not everyone has a secret agenda, and some people are genuinely nice because they are.
I am not sure how people interact with neighbours in other parts of the world, or even in the whole of Australia but in the street that I live in, most people keep to themselves. Not that that is a bad thing, by any means, it’s just that by nature the people living on the street that I live in, are most of the time introverted, and prefer to interact with family members. Though maybe that is just me, and maybe I’m making assumptions based on what I think as I stay indoors more often that I should… anyway, the point I am trying to make is that our street isn’t your average street. And maybe that’s a good thing that we are different. But whatever the case, don’t you sometimes wake up one day thinking that you wish you were better neighbours and friends to the people in your immediate area like in the shows One Tree Hill or Rosewell, where entire people from entire towns were friends with each other? I know sometimes I wish for that- that sense of friendship and comradery with people from my own geographical area.
Though I am not trying to belabour the point, another TV show, which is a favourite of mine is Eureka, depicts a closely knit town. At the beginning of the series Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) and his teenage daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) are stranded in the titular fictional town after their car broke down. I’m not sure which town they were travelling to, but the point is that from the pilot onwards, Jack and his daughter make a conscious decision to stay in the quirky town for good, even when it was not their intention, and even though every once in a while there are mysterious scientific occurrences and unexplainable happenings in the town. The series also revolves around the professional and personal lives of Dr Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra), Henry Deacon (Joe Morton), Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston) and Zane Donovan (Niall Matter), all of whom are Jack’s close friends.
What this shows to me most of all is that friendship is key, and important for every human for existence. While this show showed me that sometimes our best friends are the people geographically closest to us (as with Jack Carter in the series); this may not be the case with everyone- with the advent of social media, people can be friends without even meeting face to face. Yet what one can learn from a show like this is that if we don’t give the people we interact with daily a chance, then some lifelong relationships and great friendships can be lost even before they are found.
In light of what we have just delved into in Eureka, how will you interact with your neighbour next time you see them? Maybe you will say hello, and then take up an active role in starting a conversation? Or maybe you will let the make the first move if they are more outgoing than you? If they don’t look creepy, chances are that they’re ok, and you can talk to them. You may find your best friend has always been living in your street.
Let me know in the comments instances where you were hospitable to your neighbours, and what the outcome was.