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.
My challenge for February will be moving from connection to closeness. I’ll be exploring all kinds of different strategies, methods, and tools for creating more intimacy and depth in my relationships. But the most important path to intimacy is, of course, vulnerability.