If you’re like me, you tend to forget things, especially names. I’m the worst at this, people. But there is nothing like meeting someone for the first time, and days or weeks later calling them by their name, even better, if you can remember the details of whatever conversation you had with them. What does that communicate to someone who once was a stranger to you? It tells them you want to be more than a neighbor. You want to be a friend, to be in community. You tell them that they matter to you. They are not just a random passerby. They are your neighbor whom you call by name. You listen to their story and can retell it as if it was yours.

Now how is that possible unless you write it down? You may have a photogenic memory, but I don’t, and neither does 99% of us in the world. So do you want to love your neighbor? A simple way to start is by learning to write it down. Have a way to capture and retain information you learn about people. Whether on your phone, voice recorder, notebook, or computer, make a point to memorize and retain what you have written down. Have a way you can add, update, or edit what you have written down as future conversations are documented in your head, to your hand, and ultimately to your heart.