31 days of change :: day 20 {changing my neighborhood}

Today our church is hosting their annual fall festival.  It's a free event open to anyone and everyone in our neighborhood.  The purpose of the event is to get to know our neighbors... to be more to them than just a fancy building that's open on Sundays... to promote real relationships between the people we live and work alongside everyday... to celebrate the things we love about our neighborhood... and to talk about the things we desire to see change.

All this talk about neighbors and community has got me thinking... asking, How can I be a better neighbor?  How can I bring about change in my neighborhood?  How can I be real with the people that live down the street?

What about actually getting to know your neighbors??  It sounds so simple.  Yet, why are there so many of us that have never stepped foot inside of our neighbor's house?  Or better yet, they've never been invited to ours?  Oh trust me, I'm just as guilty.

What about baking them cookies?  I mean, come on... everyone loves cookies.  Maybe you include a simple note with your full name, address and phone number?  That note could be the open invitation they've been waiting for...

What about picking up trash at your neighborhood park?  And not waiting for someone else to do it... or just talking about how much you wished someone else would pick it up...

What about joining your neighborhood association?  Playing an active role in the decisions that are made that effect you and your neighbors...

What about having your kid's birthday parties in the front yard, instead of the back?  And when you see the neighborhood kids staring and yearning to come over, you offer the invitation to their parents too?

These things may not always be simple... but they are intentional.  What if we were purposeful in the ways we interacted in our neighborhood?  Purposeful in the way we treat our neighbors?  A challenge for sure... but one I'm definitely willing to accept.

All of these photos (with the exception of the very first one) were taken during my 5-week photography class, "Who is Shelby Park?"  I hope to post more about the photography class and the experience as a whole... it was amazing.

For the month of October I'm doing a 31-day series on "change."  Go here to see the full line-up of "change" posts.