Recently while walking back from Saint Mary’s Park where I exercise in the morning, two women I didn’t know were standing on the street corner near my apartment.
As I passed them by, I said, “Good morning.”
They each greeted me in kind. And then one of them said, “This is friendly neighborhood, isn’t it?”
And that made me wonder.
Are Neighborhoods Friendly?
I’ve been thinking about her comment ever since. Do you think neighborhoods are friendly? Or is it just the people who live in them who are friendly.
My neighborhood in the South Bronx, where people are brown and black and yellow and beige, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, legal and illegal, law-abiding and criminal — is not an obvious candidate for “friendly neighborhood” status.
But for six years now, I’ve been walking to and from Saint Mary’s Park most mornings and greeting everyone I pass with a simple “Good morning.” And almost without fail, people greet me back.
Perhaps the woman on the street corner was right. I do live in a friendly neighborhood.
Or perhaps, every neighborhood is just waiting to be friendly.
Maybe all it takes is a few people who are willing to say “Good morning” to people they don’t know.
After all, kindness is contagious… and it’s wonderful for a healthy life.
Make Your Neighborhood Friendlier
This week, as you move through your neighborhood, see what you can do to contribute to making it friendly. You might try a simple “hello” or just nodding to people you pass. Play close attention to how you feel when they greet you in kind and whether those small interactions change your sense of where you live. Who knows…you might start a long-lasting trend in your community.
What other simple things can you do to make your neighborhood friendlier? Share your ideas in the comments below.