The holidays are now behind us and if you are like me you probably had opportunity to visit with neighbors and friends in either your or their homes. These patterns, certainly accelerated during the holidays, got me to thinking about the notion of neighbors and community engagement.
Sociologists, most notably Harvard's Robert Putnam, have examined neighbor relations to ascertain how engaged people might be, and in the extensive Saguaro Seminar reported their findings. The Harvard team interviewed over 30,000 Americans and asked a number of questions including ones like: "How many neighbors names do you know," or "Have you ever been in a neighbors home," or "Have you ever had a neighbor in your home." They discovered that the more engaged people had stronger relationships with neighbors.
To this end, I wonder how your neighbor relations are? Do you know your neighbor's names - or more, have you ever been in a neighbor's home, or had them in your home? These simple notions are important in understanding social capital and community engagement. More, maybe you can make more effort to get to know your neighbors. These efforts, according to Robert Putnam and other sociologists, enhance our culture and help build a better community.