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Do you know your Neighbors?!

Every time we see on television a criminal or terrorists captured, the response we always hear from neighbors is: "They were so quiet, they were good neighbors. They never bothered anyone. We are shocked".

Maybe we need neighbors that are noisy, have lots of company, cookouts, parties etc. People who annoy us! I remember my grandmother saying, "it's the quiet ones you have to worry about".

Maybe we need the return of the front porch, children playing in the front yards, neighbors standing outside and gossiping. Yes, come to think of it we need more GOSSIP.

We have to bring back the neighborhood town crier; the person who knew every move people made and watched from her window. Everyone once in a while we hear about a person who has been ill or dead for several months with no contact with anyone. We need to know more about our neighbors.

Granted, the odds are good that our neighbors are all good abiding citizens, and we don't want to become paranoid. However those people on the TV news all thought their neighbors were too.

We are all so busy, we have so many priorities and obligations. We have to make the safety of our neighborhoods one of these priorities.

We have to be alert; we have to protect our loved ones and ourselves from this new danger that lurks in our country - there are people who can't stand our way of life and want to destroy it. This is a war like no war we ever faced. Let me repeat myself: We have to be proactive and stay alert. We have to be able to count on one another.

Let's face it we are not going to go up and down the street and profile our neighbors. If we tried they would rightfully tell us to go pound salt.

But if you are like most of us (myself included) you merely wave hello as they drive by. I have no idea what their names are (other than a very few). When some pass with their dog we comment on the weather or some other polite conversation, and within seconds we are back to our garden and them their walk.

We used to know everyone in the neighborhood and were available to lend a hand when needed or be helped by them when we needed it.

Years ago most of the people on your street went to one or two of the same churches. They went to the same bowling alleys and men hung out at the same neighborhood bars. Our children went to the same school and played with the same children. Today they are bussed all over the place.

Now, due to easier transportation, we hang out all over the greater Cleveland area and think nothing of driving several miles to our favorite hangouts.

Sure we should all choose our own friends but how about a party where we get to know one another before the cold snows come and no one is out? Or a holiday get-to-know-your-neighbor event? A time when we can find out a little about one another.

We can offer our neighborly support to that shut in we didn't even know existed and see who doesn't come and why. See if anyone knows them.

We don't have to buddy-buddy with our neighbors but it's good to keep in touch, know who they are and lend a little and get a little support when necessary.

We have to go back some to the "days of yesteryear" when we were our brother's keeper. Sure we are all more self sufficient now but we face other threats and emergencies.

Your good friends of many miles away may not be your first resource if something goes wrong. It might be your neighbor who you never knew before.

When a storm knocked down trees this summer on our street, the neighbors came out and helped those who couldn't help themsleves - just like the old days. Many people are finding with the weather acting up that their best friend is the person next door. Do you know who that is?

Let's Find out and Chat about it.

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Pat Hanson - Chat with Pat

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