10,000 hours in Hunting Park

As promised - I wanted to share the other great work Ryan is doing in his community and I thought it was best for it to come straight from the horse's mouth!

On Monday I was reminded of a major point in Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, Outliers.  He talks about "The Rule of 10,00 Hours" as an indicator of success.  

“The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”

I'm 31 years old and have lived in Hunting Park for the past 9 years.  I've been a volunteer and church goer here since 1997.  I studied Sociology in college and my final paper was a study on "Asset-Based Community Development in an Urban Hispanic Context" using Hunting Park as my subject.  Every day, religiously, I read an assortment of RSS feeds that monitor all kinds of things that impact our neighborhood.  I frequently scour the internet for pieces of neighborhood history.  I manage multiple blogs related to neighborhood issues.  I run the neighborhood civic association.  I work my butt off for our neighborhood community center where I am the Director of Development.  I live here.  I eat here.  I walk my dog here.  I watch baseball games here.  And I try to be as friendly as I can to everyone I know here.  I think I'm getting close to 10,000 hours of time spent trying to develop true expertise on this community.

After about 10,000 here's what I know:  Hunting Park is a beautiful place full of beautiful people.  You can spend 10 seconds watching a tv news report or 10 minutes reading a newspaper article.  These things will often give you a slanted view of our community.  Don't believe the hype.  Hunting Park is beautiful.

I have the good fortune to work somewhere that I love.  Ayuda Community Center is more than a job for me.  It is a community of friends who live and work in Hunting Park and are committed to seeing our community grow.  This Saturday you can get a crash course on beautiful Hunting Park.  Spend 3 hours at Ayuda's annual banquet and you will walk away with a satisfied belly and a full heart.  Tickets are $25.  Details are at www.ayudacc.org

Gladwell said that "excellence at performing a complex task requires a minimum level of practice."  The magic number is 10,000 hours.  We've got to practice loving our neighbors.  Get a head start on those 10,000 hours.  Spend 20 minutes watching this video and then come to our banquet.  This Saturday.  5pm.  The Ritz Hall in beautiful Hunting Park.  633. W. Hunting Park Ave.

The second person I interviewed for this video was Keisha.  Keisha is not someone you would expect to sit down and open her soul to a video camera, but that's just what she did.  At 21, she is no fool and she has plenty of reason to guard herself.  When I got home to edit the video, I found this clip from a moment when I went to answer the door:

Keisha opened up because I had known her since she was little.  Those 10,000 hours pay off in more ways than we'll ever know.  Go become an expert on your neighborhood or on someone you love.

p.s. - Bid on our online auction items at http://www.tinyurl.com/auctionbids.  Free shipping to online winners!

-Ryan Kellermeyer