Global Gathering Key Ideas: Neighboring

ABCD in Action
ABCD in Action
one month ago
39 posts

What If "Neighbor" Meant More Than Just the People Living Next Door?

Earlier this year (2022), Joel Zaslofsky co-hosted two Global Gatherings with me to explore an idea he's passionate about - "neighboring". What if the word "neighbor" meant more than just the person who lived next door? What if we thought of "neighboring" as a verb, actions that someone could take in their community? What might that look like?

Here are some of the ideas/stories that we shared:

* Neighboring is intentional. Find ways to be a neighbor in the best sense of the word. Start conversations. Remember names. 

* Consider the power of invitation and welcoming. What does this look like in your community?

* Find out what's already going on in your community. Find ways to let people know and celebrate together.

* Meal swap: a group of families take turns preparing meals for each other each week. 

* Potlucks, sharing garden produce and baking, block parties, "driveway" parties, sharing favorite recipes any opportunities to get together over food.

* Community gardening: Set up an area in the community for people to have garden plots; "Yard-in" - someone turns over part of their yard to the community for a garden; Plant your own garden in front of your house (instead of out back) and invite people to share the work/the produce.

* Connecting people who experience houselessness with opportunities to share their gifts with the community, especially with youth.

* Front Yard Living - sit out in front of your house and engage with neighbors and people passing by

* Organize neighborhood clean-ups

* Learn about the stories and history of your community. Find ways to celebrate together.

* Little Free Libraries, Little Free Art Galleries, Little Free Poetry Corners, Little Free Pantries.... the possibilities are endless!

* Organize a Community Creative Idea Generator. Create a neighborhood listening process. Ask people, "This neighborhood would be stronger, better when... " Ask them how they can help make that happen. Connect people who care about the same things.

* Create a community bulletin board (in person and/or on FaceBook)

Some resources mentioned during the Global Gathering:

* Bethel University, A pop-up university for the community, by the community! Bethel University is a unique community pop-up university in Bethel, Vermont. During the month of March each year, anyone can teach courses on any topic under the sun.

* Take a street and build a community, YouTube video

Quotes about neighboring:

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. ~ Bob Moorehead

When strangers start acting like neighbors, communities are reinvigorated. ~ Ralph Nader

Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there. ~Franklin P. Jones