July 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Hospitality by John McKnight
Question: Why is so important?
Thoughts: One key to a strong and satisfying community is the spirit of welcome and hospitality. This spirit powers community by recognizing we need the gifts of everyone, and everyone needs to give their gifts. This calls for a special effort to meet your neighbors who have been marginal or isolated-the strangers in our midst.
Question: How do we begin?
Thoughts: It begins with some very basic questions.
- Who are the strangers in the neighborhood. Newcomers, loners, even adversaries.
- How do we identify their gifts as the key to connection and hospitality.
- How might strangers be connected. Guided by knowing what their gifts are, we can ask what neighbors or associations would value these gifts. How might these people become useful? How do we make the connection?
Our Questions to You:
What strangers have you identified?
What gifts do they have?
How have you connected them to other neighbors?
Posted with permission. See the original post here.
John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and codirector of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University. He is the coauthor of Building Communities from the Inside Out and the author of The Careless Society. He has been a community organizer and serves on the boards of several national organizations that support neighborhood development.