Just In The Neighborhood

By Kimberly Ambayec

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Justin who?
Justin the neighborhood, and thought I’d stop by.

– Michael Dahl, Nutty Neighbors: A Book of Knock, Knock Jokes

I don’t think we have to look very far to find life’s treasures.  If you ever need a quick boost to your day, I recommend the following:

1. If you have Internet access, quickly search the terms “knock, knock” and “neighbor.”  You are sure to be amused.
2. If you have a family or neighbors, invest in them.  A sense of community never fails to empower.

At UniversalGiving™, we understand that “creat[ing] a world where giving and volunteering are a natural part of everyday life”™ would be nearly impossible without communities of people.  Thus, in seeking to be an organization that can pride itself on community building, along with leadership and social entrepreneurship, we regularly look for individuals and organizations that share similar values.  At UniversalGiving, we understand that learning from others constitutes the best organizational growth.  Thus, it has been our privilege to learn from author and designedLearning™ consultant, Peter Block.

Peter Block is a man who values “consent and connectedness” over “mandate and force” (peterblock.com).  That is, he understands that to create the best workplaces and communities, individuals need to hold each other accountable through open narratives and civic engagements.  Peter is the author of books such as Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self Interest, The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters, and Community: The Structure of Belonging.  Peter’s newest publication is entitled The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods.  In a short interview with UniversalGiving, Peter shared that his inspiration for The Abundant Community was, “Running into neighborhood people who have decided to care, listen to, and seek out all within walking distance of where they live. They do it for the sake of their children, their parents and the well being of something bigger. Mostly they do not even know they are doing something special.” Peter understands that often times, individuals overlook their gifts and talents – the essentials to motivating local, regional, and global change.  Thus, The Abundant Community provides ideas for how to recognize, reveal, and share our gifts and talents with our neighbors.  It is through a sharing of such resources that we become “the architects of the future where we want to live” (abundantcommunity.com).

So, in order to build your own abundant community, Peter suggests to, “Be a connector. Start identifying the gifts of those in your neighborhood. Write them down. Ask neighbors what they know that they would be willing to teach others. Then mix and match and get others to do it with you.”

Peter, THANK YOU for connecting with UniversalGiving to “mix and match” our values.  We are incredibly fortunate to have you as a neighbor in the philanthropic community!

Want to see an “abundant community” in action? Check out: World Neighbors – an international development organization that focuses on developing community talents for immediate human needs and structural longevity!


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