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12.15.22 | Community & Lifestyle

The Benefits of Befriending Your Neighbors

At Sage Collective, we strive to foster feelings of value and community. And, with engagement in social life as one of the pillars in our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, it should come as no surprise that we believe in the impact and importance of neighborliness within communities. That’s why today, we’re highlighting the significance behind knowing your neighbor.

Drawing data from a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2019, research shows that a majority of Americans don’t know most of their neighbors — and they barely talk to the ones they do know. Over the last several decades, our connections with our neighbors have been fraying. Because we’re leaving our homes with screens in our hands, and since the pandemic made us even less likely than we were before to stop and chat with new folks, most of the people living around us are strangers.

Befriending neighbors ensures a helping hand in times of need, provides new friends to explore your larger neighborhood and builds strong communities, which leads to healthier, happier and longer lives. Whether you know everything about your neighbor or they’re a stranger to you, here are a few actions you can take to ensure an enriching relationship in your community: 

The simplest way to start a friendship is by sharing a smile. Because smiling is a mood-enhancing action, not only will you feel better and less stressed, but those around you will perceive you as a welcoming person. The easy effort is the best way to start an introduction or continue a conversation where it left off. 

Small talk is something we all love to hate, but embracing the awkwardness of not knowing someone helps a ton with getting to know them! Don’t shy to chit-chat about everything from food and drinks to the latest movies and television shows to find shared interests. 

The bottom line is there’s no downside to knowing your neighbor. Befriending your neighbor only comes with a wealth of benefits. So step outside and start a conversation today!

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08.24.21 | Community & Lifestyle

The power of collective impact

Sage Collective was founded in 1978 as the Tabernacle Senior Citizens Project, Inc. (You can learn more about our story here.)  As the focus of our work has evolved over time, we took the opportunity to rebrand as Sage Collective in 2019.

Sage refers to the great wisdom and spiritual connection we strive to claim. Collective defines the sense of community engagement and interaction we seek, but it means much more than that. 

When we say “collective,” we make reference to the positive ways we can address the systemic challenges and inequities in our society — by forging connections among people and ideas. Joined together, we function as catalysts for change to lighten individual burdens, creating stronger and more purposeful communities along the way.

Moving forward from the essential meaning of “collective,” we embrace the powerful idea of collective impact, which recognizes the diverse strengths and weaknesses of communities, while working with neighborhood leaders and resources to achieve a more just and equitable future … particularly for older adults.  We are always seeking to align ourselves with conceptual frameworks and organizations that are taking bold and efficacious approaches to transformative change through collective impact. We believe that Together Chicago is such an organization:

Together Chicago came into being in 2017 as a mix of local leaders in business, faith, nonprofit and government questioning how they could do more to address the root cause of violence the city was experiencing.

The organization’s vision is to prevail as a catalyst of change and inspire hope within underserved and underrepresented Chicago communities. Together Chicago has five main areas of focus for creating change through the methodology of collective impact: economic development, education, violence reduction, gospel justice and faith community mobilization. Concentrating on these different areas, Together Chicago partners with a variety of local businesses, nonprofits, churches and schools to achieve equitable justice and further their mission of collective impact.

If you’re out and about the last weekend in August, Together Chicago is participating in Chicago Peace Week’s Peach Walk & Festival, to be held at the Dusable Museum of African American History on Saturday, August 28. The event will start at 9 a.m. at the museum’s sculpture garden with a gathering of faith leaders throughout the city for a Peace Walk, directly followed by the Peace Festival. You can learn about the Peace Walk & Festival here.

Collective impact is more of a movement than it is a phrase, providing a roadmap for communities to enable change by inviting everyone to take action together. And as we have seen in communities across our country and around the world, empowering and uplifting all voices is critical to ensuring the success of a collective goal.

Functioning as more than just part of our name, the term “collective” celebrates our rich identity and codifies our beliefs into a framework of mutual engagement for an equitable future.

Text overlay reads "At Sage Collective, we believe that humanity is at its very best when we empower and uplift all voices in pursuit of a collective goal."
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