“Be not a witness against your neighbor without just cause; thus committing folly with your lips.” Proverbs 24:28-29
Summertime provides so many opportunities to congregate and see neighbors you would think it would be a time of happiness and connection for everyone. But that is not always the case.
We know there are instances in which some neighbors might feel left out, not included, upset or even angry about situations that arise during these months. So what can we do to be sure we include everyone and that everyone feels they belong and welcomed?
It seems the first thing to do is to recognize that it’s happening. We can only do anything about something we know about. If we are blind to a neighbor being left out or feeling less than welcome, we can then make the effort to include them and help them to feel accepted, important and that we’re interested in their lives and concerns. Without recognizing that someone, or an entire family, does not feel welcome, we can’t do anything to change that.
Minnesota has such a short season for being outdoors and then it seems we hibernate for at least six months. Of course we make jokes about that, but for families who are not included, this is no laughing matter. If you can do something today to make someone, or an entire family, feel more welcome, do it. Tuesday, Aug. 6, is National Night Out. Start thinking about ways to help your neighborhood celebrate and mark the importance of being neighbors who care and reach out to one another.
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third St. South and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-439-2059 extension 718.