Hi, neighbors. Glad we’re together again. (Mr. Rogers used to say that.) Yesterday morning, I literally had no idea what I was going to write about, but by evening, Divine Providence had intervened via two separate emails from past CCA presidents, Ruth Baratta and Ingrid Moller. First Ruth sends me a UCC devotional that references a book called The Art of Neighboring, then Ingrid forwards me an email from Christofer Aven of our BlightBusters subcommittee, in which this picture of this essay “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” that she had saw tacked to a phone pole on Western near Hampton, while she was, no doubt, walking a fur-baby.
Community Pride. It is not lost on me that this was posted on Western, near the railroad and BART tracks, a.k.a. the furniture graveyard. I think I disagree with the emphasis on personal rights. The people who discard their crap on the tracks are exercising their personal rights. I think the last line is getting more toward the truth. A community is made up of people and we must relate; no person is an island. To quote an author of The One Minute Manager: “Building relationships with our neighbors leads to better communities, better cities, and ultimately… a better world.” Sociologists and City Planners agree.
I think a good beginning is to just know your neighbors.
In The Art of Neighboring, the authors suggest picturing your home in the middle of a grid, surrounded by eight other homes like a tic-tac-toe board (see image). For how many of those homes, they ask, do you know the names of the people who live there? For how many do you know some basic information? How many do you know well?
Try it yourself. How did you score? The guy who wrote the devotional admitted to scoring only 2 out of 9 on names.
BTW, if you want to get to know some of your neighbors, we will be
having our first ever Cherryland Neighborhood National Night Out on Tuesday August 7th at Cherryland Park on Grove Way from 4:30pm-8pm. Plans include an Ice Cream Social, neighborhood watch info, and safety demonstrations. I have always wanted
to have a neighbor just like you, I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day…
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?