52 Weeks of Neighboring - 5/28

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Tip of the Week – Develop your own love for your neighborhood by writing down 3 things each day that you like about your neighborhood.

The first step in becoming a better neighbor is to simply love your neighborhood. Being a good neighbor while not loving your neighborhood is tough to do. It tends to become a burden or an obligation. Instead, when you love your neighborhood, being a good neighbor comes much more naturally.

We have a secret for you. The most common trait of people who love their neighborhood is that they have decided to love their neighborhood. Hold on to your keyboards – that was a bomb of neighboring wisdom. Loving your neighborhood doesn’t always come easily. We mistakenly think we’ll love our neighborhood when it is right, when in fact, we’ll love our neighborhood when we seek to love it! And love isn’t something we fall into, it is something we grow into as we learn about and pay attention to something—including our neighborhood.

It’s really easy to see the negative in our surroundings. Our society has conditioned us to fixate on it. It’s a lot harder to see the positive aspects. No matter what neighborhood you live in, that’s true. Because we’re not trained to seek out the positive, it takes intentionality and practice. That’s where this week’s neighboring tip comes in.

Try it out for a week. At the end of each day, write down three things that you like about your neighborhood. By the end of the week, noticing more positive aspects of your community will hopefully come more naturally. Seeing these positive aspects will help you cultivate a love for your neighborhood. You could do this with your family each night or keep a personal list in a journal. And for this perspective to really stick, you'll need to practice it for a month.

“We don’t love a place because it’s beautiful, a place is beautiful because we love it.” – Matt Johnson (but he may have heard it somewhere)

Happy neighboring!