“You can change the world!” It’s a declaration we’ve all heard at one time or another and we believe it wholeheartedly. It is something we seek to instill in our children. But for children who have grown up in a world where the number of “likes” or “shares” is the primary metric of effectiveness, we offer one caveat—real change requires commitment. We tell our children that true change will only come through commitment to people and to a place.
In today’s urban landscape, neighborhoods remain one of the most important canvasses upon which to view the good that comes from a commitment to people and to a place. We began to discover this years ago when we moved into a neighborhood that had experienced a prolonged period of disinvestment and deterioration. It was in this neighborhood where we learned that committing to love is a choice. We had to choose to love our neighborhood because at first glance, there wasn’t much to love. Boarded up homes, in-your-face illegal activity, and filthy streets were all we saw; but we knew that when we chose to move into this neighborhood we were making a commitment to this place