David Dean of Huntington, Indiana, has been a professional comedian for 30 years. But he takes where he lives and who he lives nearby very seriously. David has been committed to building a stronger neighborhood for nearly 25 years. He reflects that it often takes a tragedy or major life event to bring people closer together.
“9/11 comes to mind,” said Dean. “Many of us gathered on neighboring porches speculating as to what happened. Weddings, deaths and the arrival of babies have also brought us closer together.”
David admits, when he moved to his current home, connecting wasn’t as hard as it is today.
“We moved into our home in 1995, so cell phones and social media hadn't erupted like it has today,” remembers Dean. “Spending time on the front porch was how we posted.”
Technology in today’s world can make it easier to become isolated from those that live closest to you. But David says taking a chance on your neighbors is worth it!
“As a professional comedian, I travel frequently and have found my neighbors to be the community I crave when I’m gone and grateful they are there when I return home,” says Dean. “Life is better with good neighbors, and it starts with us.” It’s not always easy to build a great neighborhood, but David encourages everyone to give it a try - the results are worth the effort.
“It’s understandable why people don’t connect with their neighbors today,” Dean recalls. “Our culture tells us to stay out of others business, and that neighbors want to live isolated. We need to challenge that thinking. In my neighborhood, we've discovered that if you take the initiative and walk across the street, knock on their door, and introduce yourself, a whole new world opens. But that first walk can be intimidating.”
Will you connect with your neighbors? National Good Neighbor Day is coming up quickly! Get to walking in your neighborhood and see who you might meet. You can celebrate National Good Neighbor Day on Saturday, September 28 by doing something with your neighbor and posting it on social media #goodneighborday.