The Concept of Neighborliness in Present Times

The Concept of Neighborliness in Present Times
According to a survey recently conducted by the Pew Research Center, the results with regard to neighborliness/neighborly trust were depressing. Forty-eight percent of respondents reported either no trust in any of their neighbors or trust in only a few.

Safety concerns in modern times may have a link to these results. In the survey fewer than 20% of respondents felt unsafe walking through their neighborhoods at night, but felt at complete ease with their next door neighbors. Not surprisingly respondents living in rural areas felt safer and had more trust in their neighbors than respondents from urban areas.

The neighborliness in today's era is somewhat rare when compared to the past, as today’s neighborhoods are not as closely knit as they were in the 1940s and ’50s. Even though most adults believe neighbors must look after each other. In times of yore, neighbors used to know each other well. Fifty-four percent of respondents reported that regular social gatherings with their neighbors are a rarity. They would also most likely recognize the cars and pets of their neighbors, over the neighbors themselves (or their kids).

Due to the lesser degree of trust, neighbors’ reactions and behaviors toward each other are less civil. This creates a vicious circle, further intensifying the trust deficit. This affects the neighborliness in a negative way. If neighbors take the initiative to address this issue, they can strengthen their bonds by becoming more civically involved, thus rebuilding a sense of community.