I had the pleasure of joining Amy Baglan, CEO of Fabriq, on the Wellness 3.0 podcast this week. Listen in!
At the beginning of April I set the intention to have a face-to-face interaction with each of my 24 neighbors. But as April turned into May I still hadn’t taken action on my challenge. Quite simply, I was scared. Not because I suspected by neighbors were incinerating bodies in the basement, but because I was afraid of violating the unspoken but very real norm of privacy, and the unmentioned, but very palpable code of silence that governed our community. In the face of engaging in a simple, but profoundly countercultural act, I completely froze.
It’s time to rethink what creeping cultural and economic norms such as HOA-governed communities are doing to our neighborhoods, our neighbors, and ourselves.
While I may never win Neighbor of the Year, I have begun to act upon the realization that small signals matter when it comes to creating a culture of connection in my neighborhood.
By investing our hopes, our dollars, and the efforts of our best and brightest minds in developing a biochemical solution for loneliness, we are missing the mark in spectacular fashion.
Not all scholars agree that loneliness and social isolation are new or growing problems. It may be that loneliness is just an inevitable part of the human condition. So what do we really know about these phenomena? Are they actually on the rise, or is it all in our heads?
Do you know your neighbors? If you’re struggling to come up with more than a few, you’re not alone. But this phenomenon may have outsized consequences in a society increasingly crippled by loneliness, despair, and political unraveling.
My Project Reconnect challenge for the month of April will be to have at least one face-to-face interaction with each of my neighbors. That’s twenty-four conversations in 30 days. Sounds easy enough, right?
So much of today’s rhetoric about community building has to do with creating spaces where people can gather. But the truth is that each of us has just such a space right in our own kitchen, living room, or back porch. We just have to find the courage and resolve to invite people in.
I’ve always wondered about the use of that word, “consummate,” especially its pairing with the word “host.” To the extent it implies perfection, I can’t make a claim to it. But given that its primary meaning as a verb is “to bring something to completion,” I’ve decided it just might fit.