Although I've never been Mr Rogers’ neighbour, I most certainly have lived in communities with people much like him – people who genuinely care about those in their communities. That's the kind of neighbour I aspire to be.
I live in a small town just minutes from the city I grew up in. It's quite incredible the difference a smaller centre can make in bringing neighbours together.
There's a bakery in my town that has the most delicious pastries ever! It's locally owned and it seems like there's always a vehicle parked out front picking up a loaf of freshly baked bread, or goodies to take home and share with the family.
There's also a gas station just as you enter our town. It's one of the few “Full Service” stations in our area. There always seems to be teenage boys standing about waiting for the next customer to roll up and proclaim "fill 'er up".
In this economic crisis, it’s quite evident that people are tightening their belts, including my husband and I. I have become quite the sale shopper and spend time going through flyers looking for the best deals on the goods needed in our home. However, one place that we refuse to cut costs is when it comes to supporting our local businesses.
Sure, I could buy bread at the grocery store for a more inexpensive price. And I could fill up my car with gas at a station that's self serve and spend less.
But then, what kind of neighbour am I being?
If I fail to be a good neighbour and support those who invest so much of their time into making my town better, I'm not only tightening my belt, but I'm also becoming stingy. This economic crisis is no doubt affecting the small businesses in my community, I would hate to be a contributing factor to businesses closing and my neighbours moving away.
I want to be known as someone who lives generously. I want to contribute to a community that lives generously.
I want to be like Mr Rogers.