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    A Shared Lifestyle



I believe that neighbourhoods, and the relationships that form in the places where we live, truly have the potential to impact the whole of our lives for the better. When we choose to make the wellbeing of others part of the fabric of our lives, we begin to find meaning, purpose, and a lifestyle that transforms how we thrive. There is a growing sense, in our fractured and independent culture, that a move into our neighbourhoods, and into the service and care of our neighbours, may just be what we are looking for. 

In January, 2018, the British Government formed a new and surprising ministerial role. Tracey Crouch was appointed the new Minister of Loneliness. Research found that millions of people suffer from a sense of isolation and loneliness that affects their health, the broader society, families, and their economy to such a profound degree that the government realized the need for a Minister to tackle the issue. This new role has given many in Britain a moment to pause and wonder what has brought them to this point. Perhaps the lifestyles that focus only in what we do in isolation from others, and only for ourselves, may not be producing the kind of purpose we long for. It may be time for a return to our community and back into the neighbourhood.

Neighbourism is a lifestyle that pursues meaning by finding purpose in the people and places where we live. Neighbourists believe that our greatest joys often emerge in the space between us and our neighbours. Memories are made here, new friendships are formed here, hope and peace are found here, and a deep sense of wellbeing is discovered in our neighbourhoods.

Neighbourism is a lifestyle that includes others and believes that best for others, it is the foundation of our own happiness and builds a foundation for our future. While lifestyles built around my fitness, my fashion, my food, and my hobbies may give some personal sense of wellbeing, neighbourism is about our shared place, our shared stories, our shared community, and our shared and growing care for one another. 

I recently returned from Chicago where I spent a week with a couple thousand pastors and church leaders. In conference rooms and around coffee tables we found ourselves lamenting the polarized and often vindictive political culture and dialogue we often come across as pastors. As we discussed divisions in race, sexuality, religion, politics, and economics, we found that true community was at the heart of the emerging solutions. Time and time again we discovered that those who live to care for the wellbeing of their neighbours were also those discovering peace, hope, and reconciliation in their own lives.

In small ways everyday you can choose to enjoy and delight in your neighbours and neighbourhood. Neighbourism may be more than a lifestyle choice. It may be the very nourishment we need.