Moving Down The Line, based on chapters 5 and 6
Hello and welcome to week three of ‘Good Neighbours’. This week we’ll be looking at what it means to take the first steps towards having genuine relationships with our neighbours.
The authors pose the question, how do we go from just knowing our neighbours to having a deeper relationship with them? How do we move from being acquaintances to friends?
You might remember filling out the street map a couple of weeks ago, and it is now perhaps pinned somewhere in your house, or on your fridge. That simple exercise may have provoked and helped you to meet and greet some of your neighbours for the first time. This is the first step to developing a genuine and authentic friendship.
The purpose of this session is to start thinking about how we build on these positive first steps. How, in other words, do we go from being strangers to acquaintances to friends?
You can think about this together in your group discussions after the video is finished, but here are a few suggestions the authors give to get us started.
First, you might want think about holding a street party. There are many ways we can gather people in our homes and we will all have different preferences. You might, for example, take advantage of a time of year such as a summer bank holiday, and invite people round for drinks or a BBQ. You might not need an excuse and decide to invite your neighbours to drinks at your house just because you would like to get to know them better. I want to encourage you to think creatively!
Baking or cooking might be another good way to make friends with your neighbours. Sharing food you have cooked with your neighbours could be a great way to connect with them.
Playing sports is another area where you might be able to build friendships with neighbours: playing golf; joining a local running club; playing squash. There are all sorts of things you could do.
Watching sports or other shows on TV might be a good thing to invite your neighbours to do with you. As we’re making this series, the football world cup is showing on millions of TV screens around the nation. Your next door neighbours are very likely watching the England games, for example (unless they’ve been knocked out by this point). It’s a great opportunity to invite them over.
These are just some of the things we could do, but don’t let these stop you from being creative and coming up with your own ideas. This is all about helping us to These ideas are given to help us to go from just being on first name terms with our neighbours to being friends and having deeper relationships. Let me encourage you to use the discussion questions and activities in this week’s blog to help you think about how you personally can try and build deeper friendships and become good neighbours.
Starter Question: What is the most enjoyable or remarkable event that you have ever been to that has been put on by a neighbour or a local resident?
Questions for Reflection
1. Is there anything that you do at the moment or have done in the recent past to connect with neighbours socially?
2. What are the activities you most enjoy doing, and how might they become tools for building relationships with your neighbours?
1. Look at your street map and be purposeful this week in doing one small thing that moves you down the line from stranger to acquaintance to friendship. Feed back to the group next week.
2. Partner with someone in the group and begin to plan a party, bbq or some other activity to which you might be able to invite your neighbours.