Love thy neighbor

e’re not going too wax poetic over a for-profit firm’s just-released, “new research” showing that “Pennsylvanians would offer $218 to help a neighbor in need, among the highest in the United States.”

Don’t get us wrong; it’s a very gratifying survey result via responses from 4,050 people ages 18 to over 65. We hope it’s true. We need more people willing to help others. The research by Windows USA issued a release as follows:

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” is one of the best known biblical commandments. But is it put into practice in American communities today? New research from leading all-American window and door manufacturer, Windows USA, revealed that it is, with the average American stating they’d lend their neighbors a significant $166.85 if they were in need. What a country of good Samaritans!

So which state is the most generous? That is — if you suddenly find yourself with broken windows in mid-winter or without a roof in summer, who could you rely on the most? Overall, it appears Alaskans have the biggest hearts — or the biggest wallets — revealing that they’d lend a considerable $706.15 to their neighbors. Alaskans should have no problem asking the people next door to water their plants if they were going on vacation then! Following them are the good people of The Keystone State, who said they would lend a significant $218.42 — among the most generous in the U.S. On the other end of the scale, North Dakotans were the least giving, offering $16.26 if their neighbors needed financial support.”

OK, call us skeptical … especially when it comes to lending money. Another reason being is that people will say one thing on a telephone survey, but do the opposite when faced directly with having a choice to make.

Still, the research does offer a glimpse into the psychology of Americans.

Windows USA’s survey may have proved that we’re a charitable country on the whole, but one of the questions asked was, how long would we give our neighbors to pay us back?

According to the results, the average person would wait 1.6 months before asking for repayment (if it hadn’t been made). Interestingly, 1 in 10 (9.4 percent) said they would also charge interest if they lent money to a neighbor.

It’s the men who appear savvier (or more ruthless rather) when it comes to lending money, as 13.3 percent said they’d charge interest, compared to just 5.9 percent of women.

What was surprising is that even though the average person is prepared to lend their neighbor a substantial amount of money, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re prepared to socialize with them. The survey revealed that in the past year the average household spent less than four days hanging out with their neighbors (3.7 times in fact). Considering they are literally just a few steps away 365 days a year, that’s not a great deal of entertaining happening.

But despite this, a significant 42.2 percent of respondents said that they would consider their neighbors as friends.

So how many Americans would actually reach out to their neighbors and ask for money if they needed it?

Over 1 in 10 admitted they would ask to borrow money from next door.

And surprisingly, despite feeling close enough to ask for cash, less than half (41.8 percent) of people would not give their neighbors a spare key to their home.

The survey also found that around only 1 in 10 Americans would also reach out to a neighbor for help with handy work, such as installing a new door or window.

However, the majority of respondents said they wouldn’t trust their neighbor’s skills in the DIY department however, as 33.4 percent would prefer to call in a professional.

One of the most heartening statistics to come out of this study was that the majority of Americans (77.3 percent) would even volunteer to temporarily house their neighbors if their home became unliveable, for one reason or another. As children’s book author Louise Beal jokingly said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighborhood.”

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