Many places around the world, not many here, build the beginning of their homes where next door ends. The ownership is only distinguished by a shift in paint color from side to side and even top to bottom.
Neighbor means touching sides. My color next to yours, next to his, next to hers. Sharing steps, oven smells, water leaks. Neighbor means connected like Legos and leaning like dominoes. Where one floor is weak, another roof holds. Singing and conversation and pain are heard through the conjoined walls, and seen and acknowledged and repaired as community lives out its meaning. Common ownership and shared works of service. It’s a closeness that requires much of us in exchange for more.
What if when you stepped out of your door you walked into the life of another? What if we took the spaces we built between us for privacy sake and exchanged it for humility and healing? “Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.”