A friend sent this link announcing “NeighborDay.” Here’s a description:

It’s crazy how few of us know our neighbors: their names, their phone numbers, what they’re about. The explosion of online “social” networking has only made it easier to avoid face-to-face contact in the real world. What might we be missing? Collaborators, friends, emergency contacts, sugar? What does this mean for society? As Harvey Milk said, “If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods.” So, let’s do something about it. On April 27, we invite you to celebrate Neighborday. Whether it’s as simple as summoning the courage to ask the guy in apartment 3B what is name is…again, or as ambitious as coordinating a full-fledged block party replete with a mariachi band, bouncy castle, and street hockey tournament… Click “DO IT,” and we’ll give you everything you need to make it happen. For more Neighboring inspiration, follow along at good.is/neighboring.

My friend writes:

At first I thought, “that would be fun, and just the push I need.” And then I thought, “if it takes some modern silliness like this to get me to meet the rest of my neighbors then I’m really pretty lame.” And then I thought, “I might be that lame and I should probably do this.” I’ll let you know if it happens.

On the one hand, this does seem sort of cheesy, but on the other hand, perhaps contrived events like this can bring neighbors together. If so, it’s plausible that something authentic might emerge. Is anyone else out there planning to participate in Neighbor Day?


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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.