I was thinking that I would have hardly any blog posts to bring across, but it seems that I was a very pensive person at one point! I still agree with this blog – Kindness IS Contagious. In fact, I agree so much that I’m bringing it into my #ThrowbackThursdays series! I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts! I hope you enjoy it!
I’m worried about the world.
This was set off by a call-in radio show on my way to work a few days ago. The question was – would you be friends with your neighbours. Out of the three call ins I heard (hey at some point I actually have to enter my office), two said no and that they consciously decided that it was something they would not do, one said he is extremely good friends with them and that he speaks with them frequently.
The first two said they would say good morning, good afternoon and good night, but that they wouldn’t get close to them. They wouldn’t wait to hear the answer to the question “How are you?”
Lady #1 said – She wouldn’t become friends because if she borrowed “a cup of sugar”, then they would come back later and want to borrow the same from her ?!?! Apparently, it’s okay to borrow but not to lend. Isn’t that just….a little bit…selfish?!
Lady #2 said – I’d never become BFFs with my neighbour because what if we argue? Then we’d have to move or something. I feel sorry for this lady – imagine living your life in so much fear that you ostracize everyone around you and end up all………..alone. It sorta reminds me of those weird people from movies who put aluminum foil on their heads and windows because “they” are watching – they cut themselves off from any community interaction because they are SO scared that they’re out to “get” them. This is a form of paranoia! I mean imagine not making friends because you’re afraid you’ll argue?!…..then why bother have any form of relationships – at some point they may all go sour…….and eventually, after you go crazy because you’re always so alone, you end up arguing with yourself…THEN what do you do?!
Sidenote*****Seriously, I think that TOO much alone time does affect you psychologically. I do actually know someone I consider to have gone nuts by doing this to herself. I even made up a short story based on her life and her reactions to certain emotional triggers. You can read it on my alternate blog that I’m trying to get going, CRIPSY (I stress these stories are FICTION)****
And finally, the last comment was from a gentleman. He said that he hosts his neighbours every week over for drinks and pot luck with friends and family. Now this is what I call the “Village Mentality”. I grew up near two small villages and the main thing they had in common was that everyone knew everyone, looked out for each other, helped each other out. It was like an extended family, EVEN if you were new to the village and EVEN if you fell out with someone. A true community in the true sense of the word. I admit I’m not quite as friendly as this guy, but I do try to create a community around myself no matter where I live….
I mean, this just lends to what I’ll call the “Condo Catastrophe”. Originally high rise buildings became possible because of the invention of the elevator. It allowed architects to design higher and allowed builders to add as much density into a small space as possible. It solved the problem of running out of expansion space – instead of going out, why not go up? And to boot, each of these high rise miracles could potentially be a community within themselves with neighbours and community events and maybe even retail…….how many apartments or condos do YOU know that actually ended up this way? I don’t know any.
What these condominiums have become, similarly to the amazing internet communication revolution gone wrong, are spaces with vapid and empty communities. If you know your neighbour it’s only by sight. If you happen to be in the elevator with someone else, never look directly at them and stand the furthest you can from them. How DARE their child is staring at you. God forbid that human contact verbal or otherwise be made.
God forbid that I ask the Architect across the hall if his son who travels to Japan frequently was in the country during the disasters that recently happen, or if the students across the hall are getting any sleep during exam time or that I am concerned that my neighbour is not getting a chance to be home because she’s away for work 90% of her time, or that I ask if my neighbour who LOVES winter (weird) is depressed because it’s getting warm or that I play with my neighbour’s dog (even though he’s the grumpiest little thing I’ve ever met) and smile at her (absolutely cute) little boy, or that I ask my other neighbour how her pregnancy is going and if she needs anything? I live my belief that if you are good to community, community is good to you.
It’s called CARING and it’s contagious. It’s what HUMANITY is all about.
I propose a REAL revolution, why do we choose to live by ourselves when we have such a dense collection of amazing human conditions living within close proximity? I propose you speak with your neighbours, be they your actual physical neighbours, your neighbour at work or on the street….be friendly, treat people the way you want to be treated and see what happens.
So, I am daring you at least once a week for the next 2 months to pick someone you don’t know, say hello and ask how they are. And FIND THE TIME to actually listen to their reply. I dare you to smile at a stranger and see how contagious it becomes. To thank your waitress sincerely, or your grocer, or your yardman, or….whoever. Just say a simple THANK YOU and be truly appreciative of their efforts no matter how menial you feel that role is.
In other words, I dare you to be human and to try to develop a true community built on trust and love rather than fear and suspicion around yourself.
You’ll soon see I’m right, kindess is indeed contagious. If I’m not, feel free to leave a nasty comment and I promise I won’t erase it!