How often do we hear these days that nobody knows their neighbours? People aren't community spirited like they used to be. Everyone lives behind locked doors yada yada yada.
I suppose it's more to do with the quantity of distractions and the ease with which we can get around compared to say 50 years ago, more than how afraid we are - which is what our media would have us believe. Thugs on every corner, not safe to go out your door, every hoodie has a switchblade blah blah blah!!! Grrr!
50 million TV channels and 4000 new video games available every day, plus a gabillion videos on YouTube. We can hop in our cars and drive to see our friends and families easily (except if you have to use the M25!). All this means we don't 'need' to know who lives next door - right?
Well my faith in human nature is intact.
We rescued a dog, Annie, on thursday evening. Half hour later she slipped her collar and ran like the wind. We are surrounded by fields and farms where we live so the opportunity to hide if you're a terrified canine are boundless. Within half hour of running around the lanes searching we had gathered a small posse of friends and total strangers helping us look. There was nothing in it for any of them besides the bonds of community. They helped us until 1 o'clock in the morning that first night, in total darkness, scrambling through bramble bushes and trudging across horse fields. They continued helping in their own ways the following day and the day after that until eventually we got a lead (excuse the pun) and tracked Annie to a garden that backed on to a farm. All the neighbours of that garden came out to help and eventually she was recued a second time.
This experience, as stressful as it was, has allowed us to reconnect with the people around us. We have made friends with people that we would have walked straight past on the street before hand. And they have friends in us. Never again will I walk past a 'Missing Cat or Dog' poster on a lamp post without reading it and considering what I can do to help. I will endeavour to get more involved in the people around us, in an attempt to add to the glue that binds us all together, whether we are aware of it or not.
Look out of your window, walk down your street, look at the faces of the people in your community. They are more likely to help you in a crisis than they ever are to harm you. Smile at people on the street and say hello, you never know when the opportunity may arise for them to help you or for you to help them.
For now - be safe, be neighbourly and Be Inspired
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