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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Re-connect with community around you

Have you ever watched "It is wonderful life", 1946 movie with James Stewart and Donna Reed? Many of us watch it during Christmas holidays as a holiday tradition. Why am I talking about a holiday movie in February time?

What I love about the movie, is not only uplifting and inspiring story, but also a sense of community in the movie, where everyone knew each other by name and were friends. I would like to live where everyone knows us, and we know them and are friendly with each other too. Our older generation used to know people around them such as neighbors and other everyday folks they met during the course of the day.

Now a days, we have lost that connection with people, a sense of community is hardly there. Many of us live in Apartments, Condo or house for months or years, yet we do not know many of our neighbors! I mean really know them as a friends not just by face or car they drive only. We no longer know people we deal with often such our bankers, bakers, gas station workers, mail man as they keep changing jobs often and due to lack of time on our part. And not many knows "real" us either, as we seemed to busier than ever.

We go to work, office, business, school, college or work at home, busy making money and paying bills, running errands, yet hardly we take time out to connect with people whom we meet. Take an example of us, Zenguy and I have lived in same place for many years yet we both used to work crazy hours till late evening. We used to eat out or crash in front of the TV eating take out food, we did not have energy for people who lived around us. Now, that I am home and we have 2 little ones, we are just beginning to know some of our neighbors truly. However, there are still some neighbors who are busy working long hours or as soon as they come home, they close garage doors, so no one gets to know them.

R loves to say hello to our mail man and garbage man, he genuinely  is interested in them and want to know their truck and how do they deliver mails or how the garbage truck picks up the big trash cans. If they are rushing, R still likes to wave at them and smile. And thanks to him, I am also getting to know people and  helpers around me.

Sometimes when we go to grocery store, we say hello to people in line with us, chatting up with cashier as well.  Once Zenguy saw one couple ahead of us in checkout line, and gave them our extra coupon that he saw they were buying, so they can save few bucks. They were surprised and very thankful. Little P was restless and crying so I wanted to rush home, like I used to, but that act of Zenguy made me not only proud of him but reminded me to connect with others, even though we may or may not see them again.

While, we may not be friends with neighbors like in movie "It is a wonderful life", but we are improving and getting better. We have have made friendship with single old woman in her late 60s and have shared some meals with her, we were there when her mom passed away and she in turns shares her stories with us, and helps us when we least expecting it.

There is always a first step to every journey and these are our conscious choices to smile and say hello to everyone we meet such as neighbors, grocery cashiers, Bankers, farmer market sellers, garbage truck driver, mail man and even those who solicited selling things at our door. It does not cost us anything to smile and be friendly and in return we get good energy that uplifts us.

Do you know people around you? Are you always rushing from one place to another? If so, slow down a little and get to know your community around you, slowly. It may do wonders for you.

If you are friendly with people around you, I would sure like hear your story.



Aasha said...

This is true, we usually do not know people around us anymore and we should try to. Great inspiring post.

Zengirl said...

Thank Aasha. I hope we all get to know and help our community like a friends and family.

Vaishali said...

Zengirl, What an inspiring post. Taking time to reconnect with people is something most of us fail to do because we are so tired all the time and bogged down by the pressures of living. Thanks for reminding us. :)

zengirl said...


Yes, you are so right. Even now I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy with my little ones, instead of rushing to get things done.