Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days: Knowing Your City To Love Your City (Day 11)

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Do you love your city? I believe loving your city well requires you to know your city. That includes your city’s problems. To learn about your city holistically begin by asking some obvious questions:

  • Is my city mostly clean or mostly dirty?
  • Are it's people friendly or disengaged?
  • Is it poor? Rich? Middle-class?  A combination?
  • Is homelessness a problem? Unemployment? Crime? Drug use?
  • What are the schools like?
Perhaps these things seem obvious but oftentimes we grow so accustomed to the place we live that it becomes harder to clearly see its true problems and recognize its character. Once you have a basic understanding of your city's DNA you can begin discovering more specific information:
  • Read demographics studies or do your own.
  • Ask city officials about the problems in your city.
  • Talk to church and nonprofit leaders.
  •  Do a survey of your neighbors and others you come in contact with.
One of the best ways to learn about your city's needs is to ask questions and listen well. People are almost always willing to tell you what you need to know if you're willing to listen.

So what have you learned about your city? 

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