The Four Steps of “31 Days of Goodwill” are these:
To reach out to ~
- Your Neighbors
- Your Church Family (or local charity)
- Your Community/ Your State/Your Nation
- Your World
You could change those up – you could modify them. You could do any number of things.
Our first goal is to reach out to our neighbors this month. This is a bit hard, because to be honest (and I’m ashamed to admit it) we don’t know our neighbors. I think we know maybe a handful of names – like 5. We’ve maybe had a few conversations over almost 8 years. That’s pitiful, people. We wave. We smile. We say “hi” across the street. But I couldn’t tell you a personal fact about any of them. That really bugs me – and yet, I’ve done nothing about it. And I’ve had 8 years. So this is NOT a preachy post about “look what we’ve done”. This is a “physician, heal thyself” post. Ya feel me?
The thing is, we’ve lost a sense of community, I think. We just keep our heads down and go about our business. We see these people almost every day. Every day, folks. That is pitiful. Wouldn’t it be so much better to be connected? Isn’t that what so many of us say we’re missing in our lives? I sometimes feel like an island over here. I have my family. My church. My friends. And sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the concept of adding more to that. Of extending myself beyond that. And that right there, is why this is a challenge.
Ideas for reaching out to your neighbors:
- Deliver homemade gifts to your neighbors or take your children caroling.
- Host a neighborhood holiday party on your street. Coordinate a “Potluck” night, a Wine/Cheese tasting party, a White Elephant party, or a Fondue Party
- Host a playgroup with other stay at home parents.
- Invite the neighbors over to watch a football game
- Invite those without nearby family over for a holiday meal (for example: singles, internationals, divorced or widowed).
- Invite neighborhood kids over for a December Book Club and be sure to have lots of cookies and Hot Chocolate
- Offer to host a weekly discussion group, book review or Bible Study
You’ll notice almost all of these involve us stepping out of our comfort zone in a big way. At least for me. Life is too short. Go out there an invite your neighbor over. The worst they will say is “no, thank you”. And most people are too polite for that. But the challenge is getting out there and asking.
What are your ideas? What would you appreciate as a neighbor?