After last week’s challenge to meet a neighbor, I’ve been a little nervous. I was out-of-town all weekend, and that left only a few short days before my deadline. What if I didn’t meet someone? So, I’ve been waiting and watching expectantly. I peeked out the front window at every pass to no avail. Then, this morning, as I was getting ready to leave I spotted someone.
Now came the moment I had been waiting for, or maybe not. After all, it was clearly not a good time. The lady I was planning to meet (unbeknownst to her) was obviously in a hurry. She was trying to round-up her kids to leave, and was giving orders that were being largely ignored. I panicked momentarily … I’m a mom. I’ve had those moments. Did I really want to walk in on that with a “Hi, I’m your new neighbor.” Hmmmm … AND my hands were full. I needed to get to the grocery store.
It was in that moment of indecision that I realized that if I waited for a “good time” I might never meet my neighbors. So, I walked into the fray, and it was delightful. The woman said she was glad that I had stopped her, and our chat (which lasted less than three minutes) created an open door to more conversations in the future.
There are many obstacles to meeting neighbors. Some are harder to navigate than others, but the fact is they are obstacles not barriers. Busyness, not wanting to intrude, fear of looking and feeling silly, language … all of these are things that may make getting to know our neighbors more difficult, but what’s the flip side? What are we missing out on if we choose to stay isolated? What is our neighborhood missing out on if we aren’t using our gifts to make it a better place?
Question: What are you good at? What are you passionate about?
- Write down three things that you know about.
- Write down three things that you can do with your hands.
- Write down three things that you are passionate about/care about.