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.
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.