I watched Waking Ned Devine for the first time tonight and aside from the warm feelings I got towards the end (and the fact that all the words in my head now have an Irish tinge to them), it got me wondering about people and cultures, but more so community.
Growing up in various parts of the United States I’ve been exposed to different races, thought processes, food, weather, and landscapes. Even in our technology-centered world you’d be surprised how much living either near mountains or flatlands can change your perspective on life. In southern California it was the beach & sunshine, in Illinois the miserable cold, and in Georgia the humidity and pollen. Yes, one of these is not like the other.
Waking Ned Devine focuses in on a small Irish community of 52 and how the lives of each member are affected by the man of the town who died upon realizing he’d won the lotto. Their lives are so intertwined and rich with relational history it was impossible for the ticket to be claimed without someone being bothered to know who the winner was. It reminds me of my childhood a bit; growing up knowing nearly all of the families on my street and not feeling self conscious at all knocking on a neighbor’s door uninvited. Fast forward to today where I don’t think I’ve been in the house of a single person on my street not counting the garage or halfway in the front door.
I think we all want community in some fashion; even that we were meant to have it. Maybe it’s technology, or maybe it’s choice, but since everything is so accessible nowadays I think we look past what is right in front of us for the ‘better thing’ around the bend. The thing is, we all have something unique that we bring to the table and we can certainly lose out by not appreciating what’s just next door.
So, you all have an assignment this week: Learn something about a neighbor! If you live in an apartment complex, choose someone on your floor. If in a neighborhood, someone on your street. Leave a message, knock on a door, share a drink; whatever you need to do to break the ice. You might not meet your soulmate, but you might get a good friend out of it.
Have you ever had a positive experience with a neighbor?
I’d love to hear stories about how this goes for you guys. Leave comments below!