One of the things that makes our neighborhood different from so many others is the sense of continuity. Day after day, month after month, and year after year, so little – and yet so much – changes around here.

Many teachers in both our public and private schools have been here for years, sometimes teaching more than one generation of families.

Many neighborhood businesses and business owners, from Realtors to retailers, still hang their sign at the same address.

Many of us still call the same families “neighbors” year after year; more often than not, when a family does move, it’s to a nearby street rather than another city or state.

I think it’s safe to say that even some of our potholes have developed their own deep and lasting legacy, providing a somewhat annoying reminder about how things change slowly in a neighborhood built upon tradition and history.

This is not to say change isn’t good or that we don’t have our share of change. It’s just that compared with glitzy places such as Plano or Southlake, our neighborhood is the Rock of Gibraltar in terms of stability.

If you don’t believe me, take a drive north of Interstate 635 some weekend. What’s going on up north is both amazing and disorienting – people and buildings constantly moving here and there, transferring in and transferring out, bulldozing over, building up and out.

There may be a sense of continuity and community there, but I don’t see it, and I can’t feel it.

With this month’s cover story, we wanted to give our neighborhood places of worship a chance to talk about their involvement in our community. Because what makes a good neighbor here is different from what makes a good neighbor elsewhere.

When you read the comments we received, I think you’ll be struck by one common denominator: In this neighborhood, helping others seems to be a source of pride, rather than a grudging, street-corner-induced ritual.

There comes a time in each of our lives, I think, when the need to do something for someone else becomes the deciding factor in our own happiness.

Sometimes, the opportunity presents itself, and we are fulfilled. Other times, we don’t see others’ needs, and we continue wallowing in our own problems and concerns – most of which, in one sense or another, never go away.

Our neighborhood places of worship provide a sense of stability to those of us whose worlds spin faster and faster every day.

They offer an opportunity to focus on others, to make a difference in others’ lives and, indirectly, to make us feel good about ourselves and our own small role in preserving our neighborhood’s continuing sense of continuity and community.