The Neighbor Challenge
by Valisha Reber on July 17, 2012
Mr. Rogers had it right when he sang, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” While Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was idyllic, many of the elements of the show highlight basic principles of Asset Based Community Development. He spent each half hour highlighting the gifts of his neighbors, asking them questions, and learning what was important to them. Neighborhood problems (make-believe or not) were solved by those in the neighborhood using teamwork and service to one another. It’s not a stretch to say that this popular icon of my generation was encouraging the type of neighborliness that we talk about, teach about, and hopefully model.
So, where have all the neighbors gone? Have we forgotten how to be neighborly, or simply decided there’s just no time? I’m asking myself a lot of these questions as our family settles into a new neighborhood. Join me on this journey as I challenge myself (and you) to an honest assessment of ourselves as “neighbor.”
Question: What are the names of your neighbors?
Challenge: Draw a diagram of your street with each house represented by a square. Now label as many houses as you can by family name. (If you’re really brave, draw the surrounding blocks as well!)
Next week I’ll share how I did…what did you discover?