Our country is polarized. Democrats. Republicans. Pro-life. Pro-choice. Black Lives. All lives. Bottle feeding. Breastfeeding. Cats. Dogs. Pick a topic, and the opposite of your viewpoint is out there. And if by chance, we find ourselves on different sides, we better hash it out on social media and make it ugly. Because, if you’re not with us, then you’re with them.
Wait — where did we go?
We started measuring success by everyone else’s standards. We started living overly busy lives. We started letting technology take over the wheel — so much so that we might even walk into a phone pole (or crash a car) because we’re too busy staring at our phones to look up. We started believing anything that’s “different” is bad.
And what happened because of it?
We’ve lost touch with ourselves and with what’s important. We’ve missed chances to connect with the people around us — especially those living closest to us. And, we’ve become scared of what and who we don’t know and we don’t have the time to change it.
But, we can change it!
Back in 2009, a group of pastors in the Denver area met with local mayor, Bob Frie, to find out what they could do to better serve the city. You’d expect a city official to muster a response along the lines of raising taxes or adding special programs or services, right?
He simply responded, “get people to know their neighbors.”†
Literally walk next door and love the people that live next to you? How in the world will this help?
I mean, we’re talking about a laundry list of challenges like at-risk youth, run-down housing, hunger, substance abuse, loneliness, divorce, violence, homelessness, and more. These aren’t “papercut” kind of issues. These are real problems!
If that wasn’t crazy enough, the mayor dropped a bomb saying, “the majority of the issues that our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just figure out a way to become a community of great neighbors.”
Think about that for a minute.
What would happen if we spent time with the teenager whose parents weren’t home much because they’re working around the clock to make ends meet? What would happen if we brought food over to an elderly neighbor that had a hard time getting out much? What would happen if we XXX? Would it drastically change their lives? Could it give them hope? Could it make them feel loved? Maybe.
Isn’t maybe enough?
How empowering (and humbling) that,
“the solutions to the problems in our neighborhoods aren’t ultimately found in the government, police, schools, or even getting more people to church. The solutions lie with us.”
We can do this.
We can make a difference.
We can change the world — one neighbor at a time.
The Love Your Hood Challenge
And that’s exactly what we’re inviting you to join us in doing this year. The Love Your Hood Challenge is all about getting to know your neighbors, loving them, and making our neighborhoods, our cities, and ultimately our world a better place to live.
We’ll be sharing one challenge each month of 2019 to inspire you to become a rock star neighbor. Okay, maybe not a rock star since they probably make loud music from their garage at all hours of the day, right?
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