Love Thy Neighbors – It’s Good For The Heart

I’m going to slip into the religion zone for just a minute. But for you non-believers, just wait. It’s for you too.

When Jesus was asked about the most important commandments, the first was “Love your God with all your heart.”

When asked about the second he said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself. There are no greater commandments than those.” He actually said that!

Sooo, let’s go full circle and jump forward a couple thousand years to a scientific study of more than 5000 people and their health and general well-being. It seems like there’s a pretty solid connection between heart health and the amount of strife with neighbors.

I’ll leave the finer points of the study up to you in the link below. In the meantime, I’m using both hands and both sets of toes to count up the number of cancer and heart disease patients in my own HOA neighborhood!

(good neighbor study)


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

7 thoughts on “Love Thy Neighbors – It’s Good For The Heart

  1. Nila Ridings

    I have often said the only way out of an HOA is death. They either physically kill you, mentally kill you, or financially kill you, but nobody ever seems to walk out as a whole person.

    I’ve lost the pigment in my skin from the prolonged stress of living in an HOA and there were times when I thought I was going to have a stroke.

    Dealing with stupid, not ignorant, stupid board members and shady property managers is beyond stressful. Add homeowners that act like they are close to being comatose and it makes you feel like you are living on another planet.

    I have no doubts HOAs are detrimental to one’s health and well-being. And I believe everything Dr. Gary Solomon says in his HOA Syndrome.

  2. Cynthia

    I believe the findings in this article are probably accurate. Look at the work of Dr. Gary Solomon, and Dr. Robin Huhn, and, Dr. Karin Huffer, and other’s who have worked on the affliction of the “new domestic violence” component and the emotional physiological, financial, and sociological effects (negative consequences), in, and, or, by abusive HOA’s!
    Furthermore, some years ago a very well educated and experienced cardiologist who I consulted on the HOA abuses told me he believed the heart disease resulting form the ongoing stress, range of uncontrollable and unwarranted potential physical abuses, fear, socio and economic abuses and other abuses related in the abusive HOA’s was a condition known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
    This heart condition is also known as “stress related cardiomyopathy,” sometimes, or “broken heart syndrome,” but the underlying cause of this condition is extreme emotional stress! Anyone, in an abusive, criminal, hostile or dangerous HOA knows what unwarranted, extreme emotional stress is for sure!
    Here are a few links to information on takotsubo cardiomyopathy:
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as transient apical ballooning syndrome, apical ballooning cardiomyopathy, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, …
    ‎Presentation – ‎Etiology – ‎Diagnosis – ‎Histology

    Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, or Broken-Heart Syndrome
    National Center for Biotechnology Information
    by SS Virani – ‎2007 – ‎Cited by 67 – ‎Related articles
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which is transient and typically precipitated by acute emotional stress, is also known as “stress cardiomyopathy” or “broken-heart …

    Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy – Circulation
    Circulation by SW Sharkey – ‎2011 – ‎Cited by 16 – ‎Related articles
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy starts abruptly and unpredictably, with symptoms of chest pain and, often, shortness of breath, usually triggered by an emotionally or …

  3. Dave Russell


    Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s no myth that some HOAs can actually “be hazardous to your health.”

  4. Deborah Goonan

    It is my opinion that rampant apathy among residents in HOAs is a defensive response to avoid being harmed by stress. You know, “ignorance is bliss,” and “don’t worry, be happy.”

    If you happen to be the kind of person who needs to take action, get at the truth, or to try to right wrongs, such an environment becomes very stressful.

    Some are fortunate to live in an HOA during a period of relative stability. Change often happens after a crisis (natural disaster, fire, severe economic downturn) and/or a change in management. That is the nature of corporate evolution. Ever been in a bad job with the Boss from Hell? In an HOA, it is 24-7 office politics with abusive or incompetent management. Look at the number of businesses that fail compared to the number of cities and towns. Two different socio-political environments.

  5. Nila Ridings

    “If you happen to be the kind of person who needs to take action, get at the truth, or to try to right wrongs, such an environment becomes very stressful.”

    I am that person. I cannot stand to sit back and watch people abuse and take advantage of those who are too ill, elderly, or ignorant to fight back. People who target vulnerable people in an HOA rate on the same level as child molesters and rapists on my “LIKE” meter.

    Trying to remove them from power feels like trying to drain the ocean with a garden hose! Since there are no consequences for their behavior what can you do?

    It would be so much easier if locking them in jail was an option. Unfortunately, the only thing that will get them a little jail time is if they are stealing the money. Everything else is perfectly legal!

    The stress and frustration is definitely overwhelming! And it’s compounded because your only recourse is an expensive legal battle!

    1. Deborah Goonan

      Nila, it all boils down to the corporate model of governance, which is ill-suited for creating sustainable, harmonious neighborhoods. As long as HOAs are not considered state actors by the courts, the injustices will continue, I believe. Let’s face it, right now there is little incentive for states to prosecute and convict volunteer corporate leaders. HOAs make local elected officials’ jobs easier and generate substantial tax revenue. Why bite the hand that feeds them?

      Only when state officials and the general public recognize the true cost of HOAs – both financial and social – will the dynamic begin to shift away from continued development and loose, ineffective regulation.


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