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Would You Be Mine? Could You Be Mine?

Mr. Rogers was the freakin man. 

This week on "Stuff That Nick Thinks About and Decides to Write Down," being a not terrible neighbor in your community.

I heard a church sermon one time about knowing your neighbors. The pastor walked up onto the stage with an easel, drew a tic-tac-toe diagram and put a circle right in the middle.
1. Everyone knows your start of with X's.
2. Everyone ALSO knows that the middle space is obviously the most strategic. 
But then he said, "This is you. In your neighbor hood. On your block. In your apartment, or house, or town home, or whathaveyou. Write your name there."

We all wrote it down. I am going to be honest, I was a little bummed because I thought we were playing tic-tac-toe. 

And then he said, "Now write down all of your neighbors names, their spouse, their kids. Just their names for now. These are the people next door, above/behind/in front/below you-same with the diagonals. Just write down their names". Everyone starts scribbling, going through their phones, remembering who is where and what their kids names are. 

I've lived in my complex for almost 3 years now. 

I had my name written down.

10 minutes goes by, the pens/pencils drop. 

I had my name down. 

If you wanna feel super crappy as a neighbor or just as a person, try play this game. It's an eye-opener. Especially if you feel like you're already doing a great job at being a solid neighbor and contributor to your community. 

The point of my story about realizing that I'm not doing as great as I thought I was is this: For as much as I love to talk about making friends and meeting new people, I haven't even taken the time to learn the names of the families in my own neighborhood-in my own apartment complex.

What do they need? What are they trying to do? How can I help them? 

These are all questions I ask when I meet new businesses-coffee or otherwise. I love being able to be a resource for people, no matter how small a part BlackCat plays in the grand scheme of someone else work or life. Being part of a community is rad. Contributing to that community is SUPER rad. Expanding that community and filling gaps where gaps need to be filled is the dream.

2018 has just started. There are so many daily opportunities to be the guy/gal that changes someone's day. 

So here is my 2018 resolution: Besides maybe get healthier, quit smoking, expand the shop to be a real shop, and do all the things that would make 16-year-old me proud of 28-year-old-me; This year I'm going to learn my neighbors' names. 

Won't you be my neighbor?