2019 Is The Year Of The Neighbor

Happy new year, guys and gals! 2018 came and went with the tenacity of a hungry hungry hippo — full speed but a lil’ wobbly.

While the past year held its victories, transitions, and adventures, it also held experiences that I would rather not duplicate in the new year. 2019 is a fresh year, and I am so stoked to get it started.

Many people make resolutions, goals, travel plans, reading lists, and a plethora of other shenanigans at the start of the new year. I won’t lie to you — I have my own little list, color-coordinated and ready to go. But, as someone who has 97 things happening on any given day, I decided to really just focus on one word for 2019.

That word is neighbor.

I’ve spent a good chunk of time thinking about this. Sure, words like “kindness,” “grace,” “true,” and “joy” all came to mind, but “neighbor” is the mantra that stuck. This word is a mindset — it impacts every action I take.

I firmly believe that our world would be a lot better off if we treated every person we met as our neighbor. Yes, my literal neighbors who play music too loud and decide to extend the party into the hallway — but also the person who is crammed next to me during the morning commute. Each of our neighbors is in need of our love and respect.

Mark 12:31 instructs the church, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

We all know that verse, don’t we? It’s a great Instagram caption when you go and volunteer once a month. It’s also a heck of a lot harder to live out to each and every person we meet.

The person who is taking a really long time in front of you at the grocery store.

The little rugrat children screaming in the subway car.

Your relative who does an oddly good job of rubbing you the wrong way.

The people you find yourselves rolling your eyes at the most are still your neighbors. Sure, they don’t live above you and take up your washing machine (or they do), but they are still loved. If Jesus loves them, shouldn’t we do the same?

See also: Community Accepts You As You Are, With A Heart Prepared To Walk With You

I know this is not something that anyone can do perfectly, and I’m not promising that I won’t find myself frustrated at someone within 2019, but I think it’s something to think about. It’s something to be more aware of. Loving our neighbors — all of them — might just make 2019 the best year yet.