I work with real estate agents for a living and I was thinking about this the other day: If someone were to apply the information in the book The Way to Happiness in their neighborhood, wouldn't that help make their community a better place to live - thus driving up home prices in the area? Realtors say that the three key things in selling a home are "Location, Location, Location". Improving the location that your home is in without even having to move seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. Take a look and you decide.
1. Set A Good Example
If one were to set a good example in their community, wouldn't their neighbors respect them more and want to help them out? Wouldn't it also make for less community dispute? For example, if a neighbor ran out of room in his/her garbage can, you could set a good example by offering to let them stick their trash bag in your garbage can. I'm sure you could think of a million little ways this would work - like you wouldn't allow loud parties at your home late at night - so no neighbors would have to call the police to tell you to keep it down.
2. Support A Government Designed And Run For All The People
If one were to support a government designed and run for all the people - and rallied others around the idea - wouldn't that make for better, more sensible laws in your community? The silly laws would be thrown out and the helpful laws would be voted on. Also, decent people would be voted in as community leaders - not uneducated or downright criminal people. You'd have a decent person representing you and your community in government.
3. Do Not Harm A Person of Good Will
If your community was a place where no one of good will was harmed, don't you think the word would get out and people would want to move their? Certainly the people who were of good will. Also, wouldn't that make it a better place for you and your family to live? It would definitely make for a tighter community.
4. Safeguard and Improve Your Environment
Haven't you ever looked at your neighbor's lawn in disgust? Or perhaps you live in an apartment - have you ever walked past someone else's apartment that simply smelled terrible? I know I have. If you were to go on a campaign to safeguard and improve your environment, that neighbor couldn't help but be involved. Most people would rather live in a clean, beautiful environment than a rundown, dumpy one. This point alone could help property values for an entire block.
5. Be Worthy of Trust
Have you ever "borrowed" something from your neighbor and somehow never got around to returning it? Come on - I may not be able to see that sheepish smile, but I know it's there. :) What kind of relationship do you have with that neighbor (or friend or colleague or enemy)? Probably not as good as when they trusted you. Work on being worthy of trust. Not only will you become known as a "good guy (or girl)", but your community will listen to you if you have an idea, want to do something helpful, etc. People who are not trusted, aren't listened to.
6. Try Not to Do Things to Others That You Would Not Like Them to Do to You and
7. Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You
Ah, the golden rule. How many problems do you think you would have avoided had you not stared down your neighbor, left an angry note on their car, let your kids TP their home or even got into legal battles with them. Of course, legal battles have their time and place, but don't you think a lot of that nonsense could be avoided if you were just able to treat them how you would want to be treated and didn't do things to them that you wouldn't want them to do to you?
So, there you go. It seems to me that if someone were to apply all of thse principles, they would make their neighborhood so awesome that no one would want to move and everyone would want to move in! Tell me what you think.