Wanting to be supportive of the “Love Where You Live” initiative, and also struck by the reality that they didn’t know as many of their neighbors as they would have liked, Mel and Chuckie Jones stepped up to host a neighborhood group. Little did they know it would be the catalyst for resolving a real conflict between some of their neighbors.
The Jones’ invites resulted in a good size group meeting in their living room every week watching and discussing the videos on how to be a good neighbor. All the while, one attendee in particular was extremely upset with a couple in attendance because the couple’s children had damaged some of her property. These parents were unaware of the issue, but the upset neighbor had not attempted to discuss it with them—until the neighborhood group viewed the video on conflict resolution together.
The night of the video, Mel and Chuckie, who were aware of the conflict, shared a story of their own to prime the discussion. It turns out that one of the Jones’ own children had once crossed the same couple. Instead of overlooking it, the couple went to Mel and Chuckie and talked to them about what happened. It was welcome information and a useful intervention at that time in the Joneses lives. It also opened up communication between the two families for years to come.
Mel and Chuckie shared all of this in addition to showing the video. The cross neighbor approached the couple and told them about their children’s behavior. The couple received the information well, just as the Joneses had years before, and promptly took action to teach their kids how to be good neighbors.
Conflict resolved, these families have moved on to proactively loving where they live. Although Mel and Chuckie were following the program set out for them, by also following the leading they felt to share their own story, they helped facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation. We should all be so lucky.