Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Margin (Day 6)

I have found that we spend a lot of time rushing from one thing to another even when we don't have too. In our society busyness is a status symbol. An expected response to, "how are you doing."

And busyness is the enemy of neighboring. If I define my life or myself by how much I get done or how quickly I move through life, I will never have the ability to be a good neighbor. I won't be able to stop and chat in the courtyard when others are gathered or respond empathetically to the unplanned knock on my door.

Margin is the answer to building relationships with my neighbors. We don't always have it but when we do we should move through it slowly. I think of it this way: when I am not in the middle of a pressing assignments (I work from home) or on my way to a scheduled appointment, then I usually have time to engage with my neighbors. In most cases grocery shopping, household chores, and recreation can wait.

Because I have chosen to embrace margin amongst my neighbors taking my dog out "quickly" on a Saturday morning has turned into an hour long conversation in the courtyard. Over the past few weeks I have gotten to attend two last minute birthday celebrations (champagne included) in my complex because of margin. Margin allows for me to be a listening ear to someone who was recently laidoff or for my husband to take another neighbor to pick up their car right before we leave for small group. And on the best days, when I have been alone all day and lacked human interaction, margin allows me to greet my neighbors when they get home from work. And that is good for both of our souls.

So if you've already met your neighbors, now seek to prioritize making space for relationship with them. Margin can become a lifestyle that is good for you and your community.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.

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