Quick question. Do you know your neighbor’s names? The people living to the left and right, and across the street and behind you. If when leaving for work today, could you wave, say hi and call them by name?
If you can, congratulations your part of the 10% club! In their book Next Door As It Is In Heaven authors Lance Ford & Brad Brisco reference data collected via conferences on The Art of Neighboring that 90% of people don’t know the names of the eight neighbors closest to them.
It was John Steinbeck in his book The Winter Of Our Discontent who wrote, “I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen?” Conversely Mother Teresa said, “I don’t see crowds, I see people.”
Good neighboring begins with seeing people, learning their names, and often sharing a meal together. In this we have the opportunity to go from being strangers, to being acquaintances, and perhaps even friends.
That’s what I like about the Rockbrook Town Home community in which we live. We have 153 town homes tucked into five city blocks. Our residential makeup is diverse in every way from age, gender, ethnicity and stage of life. However we are learning to be neighbors together.
At a recent gathering the question was asked, “What do you like most about living here?” The number one response was the sense of community. Being good neighbors is a value add to our quality of life, not to mention our property values!
I serve with two neighbors on our HOA Board. We have a professional management company SBB Management who helps us lead our community well. Our community manager is Vanessa Burch who in our opinion is one of the best in the DFW area. Together we share the philosophy that good neighbors, lead to better communities, which result in a best world.
We regularly plan activities and socials with LOTS of food, to gather our neighborhood together, and it works! Of course we can’t claim patent on this age old “food formula”. Luke’s Gospel is a list of story after story where Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.
Good Neighboring 101 requires intentionality and commitment, but we think it’s worth it! We now can say some of our closest friends live right in our own neighborhood. In the way of best practices, below is our email blast about our upcoming picnic.
What would it look like for you to be a good neighbor?
Jim Mustain, Neighborhood Advocate
There will be a community potluck picnic on Sunday, August 27, 2017 from 4:00 pm till dark. The picnic will be held at the community pool. Bring your favorite dish to share. Don’t forget to bring beverages (no glass inside the pool area). Portable grills are allowed outside of the pool gate but not inside. You may want to bring a table as tables are limited. This is a great way to meet some of your neighbors and see familiar faces.