EDITORIAL: Embracing the Essence of Good Neighborliness: A Collective Call to Action


Betty Bivins Edwards portrayed the large "neighborhood" of Macon in her painting "How the Arts Saved Macon" (Photographer Nate Weeks)

I was recently reading a news article about a very large business that had polluted the environment and, when caught doing so, refused to take the necessary steps to protect the people, animals, and land from continued harm, until very recently.

In the intricate web of our world, which is after all only a very large series of neighborhoods, being a good neighbor is important. It's not just about residing peacefully side by side but also about creating communities where everyone can positively contribute in some way, and where we can live healthy and peaceful lives.

We shouldn't limit being a good neighbor just to our interactions with those who live near us. 

Neighborliness extends far beyond our front doors and includes the broader landscape of communal responsibility among those in power and business. Businesses should be held accountable for their actions, ensuring they operate with integrity and mindfulness of their impact on our shared environment. 

From minimizing pollution to swiftly addressing any issues they may cause, businesses must be held to a standard that prioritizes the well-being of the community over profit margins.

And what about our political leaders? They're meant to serve as stewards of the public interest, yet all too often, we can see where political agendas align more closely with corporate interests than the welfare of the community. 

It's important that we, as neighbors, demand better. 

We must hold our leaders, both in business and politics, accountable. We should urge them to prioritize policies that serve the common good and truly operate in transparency and accountability.

However, let's not overlook the power of individual agency in effecting meaningful change. Each of us, irrespective of our station or circumstance, possesses the ability to contribute positively to our communities, both in small and significant ways. 

Whether it's picking up litter from our streets, volunteering at local shelters, or advocating for policy reforms, every action, no matter how seemingly insignificant, serves as a needed catalyst for a better future world.

Let's embrace the essence of good neighborliness and commit ourselves to fostering stronger, more compassionate communities, where empathy, responsibility, and accountability form the cornerstone of our society. 

Vote for those politicians who are good neighbors to all of us and make your voices heard when business leaders violate the rules of good neighborliness and harm communities and our environment for power and profit.

Together, through collective action and mutual respect, we can cultivate a brighter and more inclusive future for all.

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