So you want to be a better neighbor?
Sign up today for our 52 Weeks of Neighboring and get a weekly neighboring tip! Also, here are some key ingredients that we've found make up good neighboring.
1. Scale: Many people live in neighborhoods that are no longer human scale. We've found that the most reasonable scale for neighboring is one block or 15-20 households. Don't try and do too much. Just pay attention to the folks who live closest to your front door.
2. Abundance: Neighboring only works if you assume goodness in every person. Neighboring for the purpose of getting your neighbor to cut their grass more often does not build healthy relationships. There is a reservoir of goodness in every person and neighboring is the search for that goodness.
3. Persistence: Good neighboring takes a long haul commitment. It isn't a one and done kind of activity. Relationships take years to cultivate and grow. The most fruitful benefits don't even ripen till year 3.
4. Practical: When you start neighboring focus on practical reasons for knowing your neighbors. We encourage our block connectors to introduce themselves as the point person for the block, the party person who organizes block parties, and someone who listens for the common vision and interest of the neighbors.
These are some of the ingredients we think can help anyone be a good neighbor. The beauty of it is that it only takes one person committing to these ingredients for the neighboring movement to take off on your block.
Neighboring begets neighboring.
It is contagious and exciting to see it snowball and being a good neighbor cost you exactly 0 dollars. So there's nothing stopping you from being a great neighbor!
Here are some really easy neighboring challenges that you can try this week.
- Learn the name of someone in each house on your block.
- Borrow something from your neighbor.
- Ask a neighbor about their dog. (people love talking about thier dogs)
- Barbecue in the front lawn where people can see you.
- Take your neighbor a treat for this months holiday.