One of the things I’ll admit to is that I really don’t like being told what to do without a conversation about it and even more than that I really don’t like being told how I feel! Where we live, in the last year or so, this is exactly what’s happened. We, along with our neighbours have been asked to engage in an exercise of what it would mean to regenerate our area, we’ve been told that it’s not a desirable area, that our homes aren’t made of the right material, and that the layout means anti-social behaviour is common, the list goes on. We’ve been told what it’s like to live in our neighbourhood by people who have visited once or twice and even been told what our neighbours think as if we don’t talk.
We’ve only lived here for 3 years, some of our neighbours have been here over 40, since they were built. It’s been really hard to listen to some of the things that have been said, I’ll admit mainly because I don’t like people doing it, but also because this is not our experience. I’m not the only one either, the community have united to say that this isn’t our experience, yet they’re persevering and we’ve been given a 16 page form that we needed to download from an internet page, fill in with a pen and then send back.
There is so much we could say about this whole process but that would take a lot more posts! However we’ve also wanted to learn from it.
One of the most amazing things we’ve learnt is the importance of listening, really listening and understanding the community we are a part of. Jesus understood the context of the people he was talking to, he knew what they’d understand and told stories accordingly. Unless we truly understand the lives in which we are a part of then how can we possibly hope to be and show God’s love and joy and peace and all those other amazing names we give Him. I still have so much to learn about where we live but I’m excited that people want to help me and that we can begin to tell a different story of the people who live here.
Emma Scott, Mitcham