Want to know the best and most effective way to feel safe in your own neighborhood?
Meet your neighbors.
Get to know them, their kids, their pets, their habits. In turn, they get to know yours too. When things don’t happen that are “normal” for what they know about you, they are more likely to investigate, to question, to call for help.
Want to know why we are not so likely to do this? In the US especially, it is because we have news outlets who spew nothing but fear and horror in our lives, because that’s what sells. The truth is crime is lower than it has ever been and shows a significant indication it will continue to decline. Kids aren’t running around doing drugs like we’ve been led to believe, they are even becoming, on average, intimate later in age than the generations before. I’m not saying things are perfect, but it we aren’t headed to a zombie-infested apocalyptic anarchy either, which is what it seems the media wants you to believe. We are being programmed to everything and everyone.
I don’t really understand that, we are finally doing better, isn’t that a cause to celebrate?
Do we create our own problem by only being attracted to the “train wrecks”?
I would love to hear the truth over the sensationalism, it would be nice to know we are at least heading in the right direction even if doesn’t feel like its there sometimes especially with marriage equality, shaming, bullying and still such big social issues. I’m not saying its all perfect, but just hey… we’ve been doing a lot better, keep it up! You know?
Of course, this is also the part where I admit I’m a big hypocrite. I know most of my immediate neighbors, don’t get me wrong. I even like a couple of them ok. I made a commitment this morning to have lunch with my immediate neighbor of 10 years this weekend to change my hermitting ways a little. I’ve spoken to them about the same number of times as I have in fingers.
They are nice, a single parent like myself but we just don’t see things the same way. They seem more interested in finding the next great love and I’m more interested in going home and playing with my kid. We just value different things, I guess so its killed conversations really quick because I’m not one to pretend to be enthused.
I’m also perfectly entertained all by myself. I am NEVER bored. Well, as long as there is power and an internet connection, I’m pretty entertained all the time. I still am archaic enough to enjoy books as well, so I could even entertain myself without the latter if I so choose. Many days could pass before it would ever dawn on me I’d not spoken to another person for any length of time. I might even miss it a little.
That hibernating part of myself always kind of made me feel guilty, since… by design, if I didn’t have a kid to care for, I could be that news report of the dead body found in the residence long after any decent human being who is cared about by anyone would have likely been found by friends or family. It’s always some stranger too, maybe even the landlord or immediate neighbor who simply forgot that person ever existed. If I hadn’t socialized enough to procreate, that could be me. That might still be me when the crotchety effects of old age make me unbearable for my kid to be around.
So when you feel kind of pissed or jilted that you don’t live in a neighborhood where people wave to one another, pull up your right hand when you pass someone in your neighborhood… or anywhere, and wave, smile, nod, repeat.
When we don’t contribute, we’re part of the problem. It’s not their job to seek us out, its ours, right?