We say we live in neighborhoods, but do we really act like neighbors? We walk in and out of our buildings glued to our phones. Our parking spots give us quick access to our rooms without having to …
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We say we live in neighborhoods, but do we really act like neighbors? We walk in and out of our buildings glued to our phones. Our parking spots give us quick access to our rooms without having to interact with others. While we may live in a building of 90 units, most of us act like we are on our own two-acre plot of land. Are we just conglomerations of strangers or can we be neighbors once again?
Small acts change our buildings and blocks into more supportive, safer places to live. When you enter the elevator, say “hi” and learn the person’s name. Host or participate in a building or block party. Take five minutes to engage with and learn a new fact about whomever you run into. Start offering help and share with your neighbors.
For when we recognize each other, we begin to notice the suspicious people who try to get into our building or are eyeing the bikes outside. Knowledge of one’s neighbors allows the building to create a safer space where people are looking out for one another. By offering to share and help, we begin to break down the barriers in our area. Just the resources in a 50-unit building are staggering if you know who to ask. What if we decided it is no longer weird to ask for help, to borrow an ingredient or to use a tool? When those barriers are removed, we create a small community of mutual support. By looking around and helping each other rather than ghosting through the building in our own worlds, we can create a safer, better place to live.
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