Like a Good Neighbor

I keep reflecting on the story of the Good Samaritan, a man who risked his reputation to help a someone else who had been taken advantage of. People who had good occupations and good public standing refused to assist this man who had been robbed and beaten, yet it was the man from a despised ethnic group who had compassion, made time in his schedule, brought this bleeding man to an inn, and cared for him. He paid his healthcare bills and invested time in restoring this man’s life.

The story gets to me because I believe that we are meant to love others like this. We aren’t meant to ignore people who are hurting, and truthfully, who among us isn’t hurting?, but instead we are to provide immediate relief for needs, and then work with people to in the process of restoration. There’s risk, hard work, and a lot of investment here. The Samaritan didn’t just wrap the man in band-aids and wish him good luck. He stayed with him in a safe place and made sure that the man had what he needed in order to live a good life again. He made himself available, and he committed to doing whatever he needed to help.

I would love to tell you that I’ve got this kind of selfless love covered, that I go out of my way to help people that I see who need my support. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I’ve got that kind of love down. I think that I have been presented with some amazing opportunities to work with compassionate individuals and organizations, and that there has been a lot of good work that has come from my life, but I know there is still a lot of room for my heart to grow.

This year, I’m trying to learn more about this thing called Asset Based Community Development. I’m working hard to change my perspective from a needs-based/deficit perspective to one that sees strength in the midst of challenge, and capabilities shining through obstacles. I want to work to create opportunities for people to improve their skills and ability to be self-sufficient, and to engage my head, heart, and body in doing this work.

I feel blessed and excited to be connecting and engaging with people in person and online who are working at doing amazing things in their communities, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as the weeks and months ahead unfold. I’m especially excited to be volunteering at LifeLine Community Development, and to see how I can participate in the work that has been pulled together by many inspiring individuals in my community. This week I’m particularly excited for the community support revolving around a new Social Media Student/Business partnership. I’ve discovered this whole new group of people with similar interests to myself, and I am looking forward to developing relationships in these new contexts.

It’s time for me to be a good neighbor. I came back to be a part of this community, and I believe that it’s time for me to invest in it. I need to see my own assets and those of the people around me, and remember this quote, as every non-profit effort ever likes to point out:


So tell me, what communities are you engaging with and how do you keep the right attitude with the work you do?