Last week I challenged you (and myself) to name our neighbors. Knowing someone’s name is fundamental to relationship building. It’s the start of our story, and when you take time to learn someone’s name you show you value them. I have lived on my street for two weeks. However, our family has lived in the broader neighborhood (an area that encompasses several blocks) for over a year. So, let’s see how I did with week one’s challenge….
First, I’d like to say that even as I type this I am fighting a strong urge to list all of the reasons that I don’t know more neighbor’s names. However, it may be more useful (and less pathetic) for me to explain how I met the neighbors that I do know.
Prior to moving into our house a family on the block that we already knew had a “Welcome to the Block” party (it was also a farewell to the couple that was moving away.) Several neighbors attended, and we were able to spend a few hours learning names and hearing people’s stories (how long they had lived there, changes over the years, etc.). The family that organized the party gave us the best housewarming gift, the opportunity to start building relationships with our neighbors.
So, now comes the real evaluation…how have I done meeting people on my own?
Does waving from across the street count? It.has.been.so.hot!! We’ve been in the house unpacking….Ok, there are the excuses! The fact is I haven’t made much of an effort. I’ve started to walk across the street a couple of times, and have let that moment of awkwardness that seems inevitable turn me back home. However, I’m not giving up. I want to know my neighbors.
So, the challenge for next week, should you choose to accept it…meet a neighbor you haven’t met.
Question: What excuses do we make for not meeting our neighbors?
Challenge: Introduce yourself to a neighbor you haven’t met.
The Neighbor Challenge series re-posted by arrangement with the Communities First Association, a professional association of Christian community developers that provides a supportive learning environment, resources, and tools to those who transform communities. Image courtesy of CFA.