Have we forgotten about loving thy neighbour? 35



View Profile

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 11.00.18 AM

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.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Can’t stand sticky beak neighbours… Further away they are the better. Always looking through the gap in their curtains. Ugh

  2. Have always got on with neighbours. Did have one that had a dog that barked loudly all night, was glad when they moved.

  3. We have great neighbours, always have had. We watch out for each other, but not in your face. Pick up each other’s mail, look after pets, and water plants when on holidays. Exchange xmas gifts, just normal behaviour.

  4. I blame council planning laws we have neighbours so close now that you can see into
    The kitchen how it got planning through I don’t know
    We have had to pay for a dark shade clothe so we block it out
    But when we have out door BBQs were just the same
    I used to smoke and I am sure the smell of the smoke would have waffed across between our back deck I reckon about 20
    Like I said I blame councils

  5. I have quiet but nice neighbours. Most of us stop for a quick chat and we exchanged Christmas cards. We have our own lives but we are aware of theirs. It’s nice.

  6. The old adage of “Love thy neighbour ” has been replaced with love thy neighbour but don’t let the neighbour’s husband catch you.

  7. Have always had great neighbours. Moved 12 times during our 50 years of married life so have been lucky with our neighbours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *