52 Weeks of Neighboring - 11/19

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Happy Thanksgiving! Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Week is here! In light of this, this week’s tip centers on something we could all focus on a bit more: thankfulness.

So, for this week, here is what we propose: Create a list of neighbors’ gifts that you are thankful for. We have realized how easy it can be to forget about the gifts your neighbors have. Because of this, we think it is both good and beautiful to be mindful of their gifts. Each and every one of your neighbors brings something unique to share with the community!

This tip is far from complicated. Simply think of your individual neighbors and the unique gifts that each one of them possesses. There is no limit to this definition of gifts; your neighbors’ gifts may be anywhere from “She can single-handedly fly a Saturn V rocket!” to “She can mow her lawn so efficiently!” A gift is a gift, and on this week of thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for the endless gifts present within our neighborhoods and communities.

A concept very influential to the Neighboring Movement is Asset-Based Community Development (often known by the catchy name of “ABCD”). Because ABCD is both so intriguing and awesome, here’s a simple definition: ABCD is a countercultural approach to community development that focuses on what a community already does well (the assets or gifts) as opposed to focusing on what a community does poorly (the liabilities and issues). We think this concept is inseparable from neighboring. In the same way that our communities have gifts, our neighbors have gifts, too! Through the simple action of listing our neighbors’ gifts, we will be mindful of not only the gifts of our neighbors but even ways our neighbors can share their gifts for the common good.

Happy neighboring!