When the question “who is my neighbour?” was first asked over 2000 years ago, Jesus answered with one of his more well-known stories. The Good Samaritan shows us what it means to be a good neighbour. Instead of walking past on the other side of the road, he stops, helps, puts his own money on the line, all for someone who would normally be anything but a friend. The neighbour here is the one who has gets into the messiness of life with another and shows mercy.
It was a challenge then and it remains a challenge for us today. Are we willing to show mercy to those around us? More than just concern or good thoughts, mercy is about entering into the world of another person and journeying through life with them. Through the messy and tough times, as much as through the good times.
Image: Sleep in Your Car event for Homelessness Week
One of the many things we learnt over the last twelve months is just how important it is to connect with other people regularly. In the face of lockdowns, physical distancing, mask wearing and other restrictions, we recognized anew the healing effect of a smiling face, the release of sharing stories together and the encouragement of helping one another carry the load. Robbed of connection for a time, we realized that we really were made to exist in community.
Initiatives like delivering food to those in need, front yard visits to isolated young people, virtual school holiday activities and youth programs kept connections alive in 2020. But it was just the beginning.
As we start a new year, our Fusion teams have committed themselves to staying on the front foot as neighbours. To do this means that we need to get to know who they are.
Neighbour Day on Sunday 28 March is an opportunity to reach out to the people around us, to actually be a neighbour, not just someone who lives in the neighbourhood. Fusion is getting behind this initiative of Relationships Australia and we’re inviting you to get involved too. Here’s just one way you can get to know your neighbours.
On Sunday 28 March, we’re inviting you to follow these three steps and Have a Cuppa With Your Neighbour.
- Connect with a neighbour you haven’t talked to before.
- Invite them over for a cuppa, get to know them and take a photo.
- Upload to your social media and tag your local Fusion Centre and #buildingtheneighbourhood.
It’s as simple as that! We hope that connections like these will be the start of getting to know our neighbours and the transformation of our communities so that everyone can thrive.
Who is my neighbour? On Neighbour Day 2021, let’s get out there and find out.