Neighbor Well

Neighbor Well

Help me out (and yourself) by going along with this quick exercise. Will you pass the test? Less than 1% of people will. Now that's encouragement, huh? 

Use this diagram to get started.


Another option is to use a blank piece of paper and write down numbers 1-8. Under each number write A,B, C.

1. Let's start by writing down the names of the 8 people/households who live closest to you in each block or under numbers 1-8 on your paper. If you live in a neighborhood- the 8 closest homes going left and right (or however your homes are laid out). If you live in the country, the 8 homes closest to you. If you live in an apartment, the 8 closest apartments. You get it. 

2. Next- under each of the 8 names, complete the following:

A: Write the names of the people who live in those homes. Last names are great but not necessary.

B: Write down relevant information about each household- information you would know based on speaking to them. IE Volunteers at the Nursing Home vs. Drives a white truck (because you can just observe that from afar).

C: Write down in-depth information (at least one blurb) about each household: what motivates them, what concerns them, what are their spiritual beliefs or practices, etc.

Feeling a bit crappy? Yeah, me too.

About 10% of people can complete all 1-8 of Section A with their neighbors’ names.

About 3% can fill out line B for each home.

Less than 1% can fill out line C for each home.

In today’s culture of online connectivity and busyness, we have become a culture that does a very poor job of being good neighbors. We leave our homes, go to work or school or you name it, then come back home and stay within the walls of our homes. If we do go out, it’s because of OUR schedules and on OUR time to accomplish OUR needs and wants. I’m guilty of all of the above so replace all the “we’s” above with “I’s”.

I share this because I’d like to go down the road of 'Neighboring Well' here in this space: ideas and inspiration for Millennials to start a new wave of community. How do we neighbor so well that we create a culture change in our own neighborhoods? A range of recipes, acts of service, stories, and testaments to good neighboring will be shared.

It can be scary (who am I reaching out to?), awkward (well, that person seemed to think us asking them over for dinner was nuts!), and daunting (I’m not sure how to make the time or initiate the right way). But the hope is that a few ideas will stick and provide an easy way to love on the people around us.

Ready to get started?  

I pulled this exercise and the information following from a book called “The Art of Neighboring” by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. (Thanks Matt for sharing!) If you'd like to share this with a group of people, here is the link for a PDF: