Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.


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  • nick tuck

    this is really great. neighborday, here we come.

  • abrookskinder

    The cowboy image is esp. relevant to the discussion; it has been said that the Japanese revere the American cowboy for his collective work while the American does so for the individual effort he makes outside of the structured society. The truth lies in the balance between those images. While most cowboys would be very offended if I called them socialists, it seems the closest model for your right to be an individual stops where it hurts another (see stealing a horse = death) or if the group needs you more. You do your thing and I'll do mine but we will acknowledge each other politely (tip the hat, open doors for those whose hands are full), keep a weather eye out, and help when needed. That cowboy sounds like a pretty good neighbor to me.

  • Henok Elias

    I love this concept. pleas edit the word believe in the second to last line of the first paragraph, and the phrase "in the creating our own story" in the second to last line of the second paragraph.

  • Lily Torres Llitera

    I wonder where can I get actual printed posters, banners or 'printables' to make invitations with the NEIGHBORDAY PICTURE/LOGO and the date so that I can plan my neighborhood block party and begin preparing. I keep clicking the link that says:
    Click here to say you'll Do It, and nothing happens. Where do I send my name and address? Or do I get a message via e-mail if I am logged in with Facebook? How do I get the "Kit"?

  • liveaudio

    A pleasant article and in fact our family lives in an urban setting where all neighbors on our block, and beyond, are quite connected. We have each others house keys for emergencies.

    A dangerous presumption, however, is that group-think is always a positive maneuver.

    Group-think was certainly positive in the 80's and for some unfortunate reasons, e.g., economy of work place design, controlling employee costs, etc...

    Modern studies show time and time again that individual effort, in private, leads to innovation and extraordinary accomplishment. Many argue that group think is a disaster.

    A few links for everyone's convenience.

    • Kyla Fullenwider

      Yes, that New Yorker article is great. But I don't think anyone wants groupthink (that doesn't solve any problems!) but rather more social capital-- the connections and networks between people and the reciprocity and trust that arises from them. For example, we all know -- and studies show-- that communities with high levels of social capital are safer... something I think we all want.
      If you are interested in this subject matter Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone is a great place to start:

  • faithfulhearted

    Individualism is about non-conformity not isolation. Perhaps a vocabulary lesson would not go amiss.

    • Kyla Fullenwider

      Yes, while Emerson's and later Thoreau's ideas on self-reliance and individualism were very much in response to their 19th century context, and indeed an anthem for non-conformity, individualism and self-reliance are by no means meant to simply imply isolation. (Though Thoreau's time on Walden might prove otherwise!)
      Try reading Thoreau's journal and you might see a much more nuanced understanding of how the Transcendentalists thought about these things:
      In any case, I suspect they would not recognize the world we inhabit today next to their 19th century New England.