Have we forgotten about loving thy neighbour?

This year, three disputes involving neighbours caught the attention of the global media, causing us to ask the question about the “bad neighbour” crisis: do we really love thy neighbour?

In Chicago, a feisty exchange of letters between two neighbours occurred over the accusation that “the girl in 517” was being a little too vocal and noisy about her regular sexual encounters with men. [See below to take a look at the letters]

In another corner of the world, a Spanish woman has sued her neighbour as a result of hating her softly heard piano playing. Evidence suggests that piano’s volume was less than the average conversation, and how bad can a budding pianist really be?

Noise isn’t the only neighbourly issue as two seventy-something neighbours, have physically fought over the planting of a tree at an adjoining fence between their properties.

There are thousands of other complaints about neighbours including pet behaviours, sticky-beaking, loudly arguing and swearing, stalking, nudity, raging parties and recreational drug use.

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Have we forgotten to take that little piece of advice: “Love thy neighbour” and use it?

With the exception of people who chose to live in the countryside, most Australians live in fairly close proximity to their neighbours. This means that our relationships with neighbours play a large part in our home-happiness.

Some households are as close as family with their neighbours, sharing barbeques and happy hour drinks together. But some aren’t so fortunate and the awkward wave while mowing the lawn isn’t highly anticipated.

In case we have forgotten how to apply the good rule, below is a guide to help you be a better neighbour… You might want to share this with those whom you believe need it!

  • Say hello and be friendly to your neighbours, they can provide an excellent security network for you and your home.
  • If you feel that things are hitting off between you, extend an invitation to them for afternoon drinks or lunch to get to know them a little better.
  • Maintain your yard so it isn’t detracting from your neighbours. It’s also not a bad idea to mow their front strip too in a bid to extend the arm of garden friendship.
  • Position your outdoor lights carefully to avoid shining bright lights into their home.
  • If you have to park outside their property, let them know that you are doing it and why, they are sure to appreciate the courtesy.
  • Keep communication open and look out for your neighbours and they will (hopefully!) extend the same courtesy to you.
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Lastly, be reasonable. If their dog barks once a month at the full moon – let it go. If their son’s friend parks his car in front of your house when he visits for dinner once a week – let it go. If their weekly music practice interrupts your reading time – let it go… Primary school recorder practice is the exception to this rule.

Let’s all try to love thy neighbour just a little more and stop the global “bad neighbour” crisis.


What is your relationship like with your neighbours? Tell us below.