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Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill #GoodNeighborDay

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“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world.” Pres. Jimmy Carter

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family … I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” United States President Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4601, 1978. via National Day Calendar

What does being a good neighbor mean to you? What motivates you to give back in a neighborly fashion? Today is National Good Neighbor Day and a great day to be reminded that we are part of a global community that depends on each other to maintain peace. If you’ve been paying attention to news events in the last week, you’d know that we celebrated International Peace Day, Pope Francis visited the US, the UN Member-nations/world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 global goals, and the Social Good Summit kicked off on with speakers and presentations offering insights on how technology and social media can make powerful impacts on achieving the 17 goals by 2030. Being a good neighbor means caring about your community and the world, and taking actions that benefit all. How can we be good neighbors if our actions malign others? How can we achieve the end of poverty if we withhold food and opportunities from those who desperately need them? To be a good neighbor is to care about those beyond our reach too, not just our immediate neighbors. Showing goodwill to others works in tandem with being a good neighbor. You can’t have one without the other. How do you see it?

How did National Good Neighbor Day start? It was initiated in the 1970s as the brainchild of Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana who believed that good neighbors can accomplish more together in their communities than apart. It quickly became a popular way to rally people together and by 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a clear Proclamation 4601 that made it a viable and legitimate holiday. In 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was moved from being celebrated on the fourth Sunday in September to a definite date:M September 28. The Congressional Record in which Max Bacchus asks for such a designation shows September 26 as the date requested. Nevertheless, what matters is that we seize the opportunity to acknowledge our neighbors far and near. When I think of National Good Neighbor Day, I think of both my global neighbors and immediate neighbors. If we stop creating divisions that separate people into factions, we will have a more harmonious global community. We owe it to the survival of our planet to treat all live with respect, goodwill and neighborly consideration. So go ahead and do something nice for your neighbors today. Feel free to add the hashtag: #GoodNeighborDay to your posts on social media.

A Story: The Wise Farmer
A farmer whose corn always took the first prize at the state fair had a habit of sharing his best corn seed with all the farmers in the neighborhood. When asked why, he said, “It is really a matter of self-interest. The wind picks up the pollen and carries it from field to field. So if my neighbors grow inferior corn, the cross-pollination brings down the quality of my own corn. That is why I am concerned that they plant only the very best. All Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb

Another Story: The UN-neighborly Request
A farmer requested a Tendai priest to recite sutras (prayers) for his wife, who had died. After the recitation was over the farmer asked: “Do you think my wife will gain merit from this?”
“Not only your wife, but all sentient beings will benefit from the recitation of sutras,” answered the priest.
“If you say all sentient beings will benefit,” said the farmer, “my wife may be very weak and others will take advantage of her, getting the benefit she should have. So please recite sutras just for her.”
The priest explained that it was the desire of a Buddhist to offer blessings and wish merit for every living being.
“That is a fine teaching,” concluded the farmer, “but please make one exception. I have a neighbor who is rough and mean to me. Just exclude him from all those sentient beings.” Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

“Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.” Marshall Field

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

You have to, in your own life, get people to want to work with you and want to help you. The organizational chart, in my opinion, means very little. I need my bosses’ goodwill, but I need the goodwill of my subordinates even more. Lloyd Blankfein
Trust is not simply a matter of truthfulness, or even constancy. It is also a matter of amity and goodwill. We trust those who have our best interests at heart, and mistrust those who seem deaf to our concerns. Gary Hamel

What does performing acts of goodwill mean to you? Lloyd Blankfein’s quote above resonated with me deeply because we often see people withhold their goodwill from those who actually need it most. They spend their time kowtowing to their superiors and working to impress those who can forward their personal agendas. Such actions are not true attempts at goodwill but, brown-nosing. While there is nothing wrong with expressing goodwill to those who can help us, if we only focus our attention on them, we are eliminating a vast group of people who stand to benefit from our kindness. Like the story of the Good Samaritan, we should stay open to helping those in need; especially folks who in dire need of help. When our goodwill becomes a form of cronyism, it loses both its meaning and its true impact. Goodwill efforts are helpful acts that uplift others; when we give of our time, skills, and knowledge to help the most destitute, we perform deeds that reverberate beyond our community and touch people who can then do same for others. We live in a world where so many don’t have food to eat or decent infrastructures to support local communities. When we work with organizations that serve those communities directly, we are making a huge difference in the lives of people we don’t even know. Even though our gifts are going to distant communities, the gratitude and grace of our random acts of kindness return to us in other ways. We should perform goodwill acts for their own sake and not for the accolades that might come from them. We should give honestly and not be like the villagers in the story below, who thought they were being smart when they added water to the wine barrel. How do you express your goodwill?

A Story: The Deceptive Villagers
A great festival was to be held in a village and each villager was asked to contribute by pouring a bottle of wine into a giant barrel. One of the villagers had this thought: “If I pour a bottle of water in that giant barrel, no one will notice the difference.” But it didn’t occur to him that everyone else in the village might have the same thought. When the banquet began and the barrel was tapped, what came out was pure water. All Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August and September are:
08/03 – TIME
08/10 – CONTROL
08/17 – PURPOSE
08/24 – FAILURE
08/31 – HOPE


More Below!

“When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.” Jennifer Pahlka

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz
To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality. John Locke

What does this all mean; good neighbor & good will? At the end of the day, being a good neighbor and expressing goodwill to all benefits us too. When we help each other grow, our world is enriched and more of us are able to learn to give back. The terrific ideas of paying it forward and performing random acts of kindness help us all because our good deeds make it possible for others to pull themselves up and be a beacon of light to someone else. So on this very special day and hopefully, on every other day, lets remember to be a good neighbor; locally, nationally, and globally. As Osho says at the end of the story below, “the world goes on becoming more and more beautiful because of these efforts.”

A Story: Each One Has To Try
There was an ancient mysterious wall which stood at the edge of a village, and whenever anyone climbed the wall to look onto the other side, instead of coming back he or she smiled and would jump to the other side, never to return. The inhabitants of the village became curious as to what could draw these people to the other side of the wall. After all, their village had all the necessities of living a comfortable life. They made an arrangement to where they would tie a person’s feet, so that when he or she looked over and wished to jump, they could be pulled back. The next time someone tried to climb the wall to see what was on the other side, they chained her feet so that she could not go over. She looked on the other side and was delighted at what she saw, and smiled. Those standing below grew curious to question her and pulled her back, but to their great disappointment she had lost the power of speech.
“Those who have Seen cannot say. That which has been Seen cannot be painted, cannot be reduced to words. But still each one has to give a try – and the world goes on becoming more and more beautiful because of these efforts.” Source Osho via Read.Goodweb

Positive Motivation Tip: To be a good neighbor is to set an intention to treat all with goodwill. As we give, we receive.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:  Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb  All Photos: meatpacking district, wakefield common, bell tower, park place, east 69, QPLboro hall, via Wikipedia and/or from my Personal Collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

77 Comments leave one →
  1. Masshole Mommy permalink
    28/09/2015 3:38 pm

    I like a few of my neighbors, but there is one that I just do not get along with. I keep hoping he will move out.

  2. Terri Ramsey Beavers permalink
    28/09/2015 3:44 pm

    Thanks for the motivational Monday inspiration. Your post reminded me of how much I miss my one and only neighbor. She passed away last year from Pneumonia. I’ve been praying for a new neighbor that I like just as much.

  3. queenofthelandoftwigsnberries permalink
    28/09/2015 4:07 pm

    We are so lucky to have some awesome neighbors. Not only do our kids play together, but we look out for each other and really have a sense of community. It is so incredibly sad to see that so many communities don’t really have relationships.

  4. Scott permalink
    28/09/2015 4:49 pm

    Most of our neighbors are pretty good with helping one another. But there’s always one ant at the picnic – and unfortunately he lives next door to us…

    • 29/09/2015 2:11 am

      Hahaha! I like your description. We’ve had our share of ants over the years but, thankfully, things always turned around.

  5. Amanda K permalink
    28/09/2015 4:55 pm

    I had no idea it was Good Neighbor Day! Looks like I will be doing it a day late tomorrow for mine 🙂

  6. Michele permalink
    28/09/2015 5:03 pm

    If everyone, including all the politicians, followed the good neighbor policy every day-what a beautiful world this would be.

  7. 28/09/2015 5:05 pm

    The UN-neighbourly request gave me a giggle because I have to admit that I once felt a bit like that about a neighbour. Glad I got over it!

  8. Autumn @ Stay gold Autumn permalink
    28/09/2015 5:23 pm

    I love the story with the corn!! Sharing with others is really a great way to help improve your neighborhood.

    We have a yard in our neighborhood that is so overgrown, we can’t see right to turn on the road. I am afraid it will cause an accident. My husband and I have talked about going over and offering to weed spray and remove some things. Part of it is because I hope they will feel more encouraged to keep it up after that, but also because it is much safer for everyone.

  9. Claudette Esterine permalink
    28/09/2015 6:09 pm

    Living in North America for over a decade now, my understanding of how to be a nieghbour went through drastic changes. I am not at the point where “hermit” would more describe me – sadly – as I do not know my neighbours. This is a very un-Jamaican way of being but I try to compensate and satisfy my need for neighbours by reaching out and staying in contact with friends and family who do want that “neighbourly contact” although they are miles and miles away.

    • 29/09/2015 2:08 am

      That definitely qualifies as being a good neighbor. The topic is neighborly goodwill beyond our hood too. So you are on track lady! 😉

  10. Liz Mays permalink
    28/09/2015 7:15 pm

    I’ve always liked the idea of neighbors looking out for each other. I’m not really one to hang out with the neighbors, but I like being protective on their behalf.

  11. maggiesblog2 permalink
    28/09/2015 7:32 pm

    We just recently moved into a new house and I am going to try to be a better neighbor. Historically, I am a rotten neighbor. I do wave now and then but that’s about it lol

  12. 28/09/2015 7:48 pm

    I don’t know any of my neighbors. I guess I am a bad neighbor. 🙁

    • 29/09/2015 2:06 am

      Hahaha Beth! I just knew you’d say something funny. Get out and connect. You’re not a bad neighbor and, besides, my post is about treating ALL like a good neighbor.

  13. Liz Mays permalink
    28/09/2015 8:09 pm

    This is a good reminder! I like the idea of paying it forward and doing random acts of kindness for strangers.

  14. Samantha Pierce permalink
    28/09/2015 8:16 pm

    I try my best to be a good neighbor. I do what I can for friends, family, and physical neighbors because life is too short to not show you care about those around you.

  15. tara pittman permalink
    28/09/2015 9:13 pm

    I try to be a good neighbor to all. A neighbor is more than just the people on your block.

  16. 28/09/2015 10:44 pm

    It’s a huge challenge to keep on being the good one when another is relentlessly unpleasant, but I suppose I must hold on.

    • 29/09/2015 2:04 am

      Indeed. At some point we must address it or it will fester and turn ugly… Part of being a “good neighbor” is communicating about things that are difficult too. Thanks for bringing that one up Gilly. 😉

  17. I Love Paars by: Lee permalink
    29/09/2015 1:54 am

    being a good neighbor is being a friend to them esp in times of trouble. anybody can be your friend when you are in your extreme happiness but when youre down then you’ll know who your real friends are

  18. Jessica Young (@youngrubbish) permalink
    29/09/2015 3:07 am

    I’ve lived in NYC and London for the past 5 years and inner-city neighbours are not super friendly… my husband however is extraordinarily friendly, so he’s definitely scared a few people 😉

  19. Girl, Unspotted permalink
    29/09/2015 4:28 am

    sometimes, no matter how great a neighborhood is, there’s always that one house that just doesn’t care and lacks the same courtesy. we actually have no neighbors right now, but a house is being built next door.

  20. Fernando Ceballos Lachica permalink
    29/09/2015 6:42 am

    Some of our neighbors have forgotten the thing called love, but I really come to my senses to push the other way around for them to feel the same. In the long run, respect is the key for doing things right.

  21. Anna permalink
    01/10/2015 9:18 am

    One way of being a good neighbor is showing respect and not being to fast to judge as well.

    • 01/10/2015 10:08 am

      That is true… and we are all guilty of sometimes falling short of those qualities. Being a good neighbor requires compassion and forgiveness too because to err is human and to forgive is divine. 🙂

  22. Jessica Beal Harlow permalink
    01/10/2015 9:50 am

    I think being a good neighbor, locally and universally, is important. Why wouldn’t we be kind, generous, and helpful to one another? There are so many opportunities every day to help someone in one way or another. It’s easy to get distracted and not see those chances, but can be so life-changing when we do.

  23. JessDC permalink
    03/10/2015 3:59 am

    You have good neighbors only if you can be a good neighbor. 😉

  24. LifeAsAConvert permalink
    03/10/2015 11:27 pm

    I recently found out that one of my neighbors is dying of cancer and I had no clue. It made me realize I need to be a bette neighbor.

  25. Papaleng Pagulong permalink
    04/10/2015 7:20 am

    A good neighbor to me is.. someone who treat me as a family member. 🙂

  26. Nilyn EC Matugas permalink
    04/10/2015 6:26 pm

    We just moved here in San Mateo, Rizal and all I can say is that we have a very good neighborhood here unlike previous places we lived in, this one’s a lot quiter and we also have weekly bible study with the neighbors so it’s really great.

  27. Grace permalink
    08/10/2015 2:25 am

    we have a couple of neighbors here that treats us like family as well. my kids call them lolo and lola not just because they’re giving respect but they also feel special with these two elders as well.

  28. kumamonjeng permalink
    20/08/2018 5:08 pm

    I have a good neighbor who is so kind and helping to get the fresh seafood, such as fishes and prawn from the market every week. I think I am so lucky to have met such a kind neighbors. This need to be two ways and no taking thing for granted.


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