Let’s break things down a little bit. When it comes to being social, things have changed quite a fair bit with the world today. I wanted to step you through some of things I did immediately.
Create a Tribe
The first thing I did when the world seemed to come a grinding halt around us, was to create a little tribe around me.
This included my immediate neighbours.
I immediately setup a WhatsApp group – encouraged all the neighbours I know to get onboard. And ensured all adults were included in the group. Why? Because if one of them was away, and IF there was an emergency, both parties were made aware and could respond accordingly.
What this created was a sense of community. A sense of oneness and togetherness against whatever the unknown may be.
Being in the less risky category, I know that I am better able to respond to my neighbours’ needs if they need a quick grocery shop/pharmacy run done.
Where do you start?
Now, the other thing to be said, this isn’t something you that gets created instantly or overnight.
It reminds me of something I read in the book, “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazi –
“Build your network before you need it”
Something another online mentor that I look up to, Ramit Sethi, also emphasises.
When I moved into the neighbourhood, I made it a point to get to know each of my surrounding neighbours.
I said hello whenever I got the opportunity, and celebrated births whenever they came around.
And there were a few new births during this time! I am still amazed at seeing how big those kids have grown.
And whenever I had the capacity, I ensured I kept up Easter and Christmas traditions by dropping off chocolate to any family that had kids.
I did this because I enjoyed giving. But you know, I did it, because one of them caught me and was so grateful – I tell you, there is nothing like, wide-eyed wonder and gratitude from a kid.
And now, no matter what, heck I ensure I budget a little something every year to make sure that the tradition continues regardless of my personal financial situation. That sense of giving is something I never want to replace.
But I digress…
Keeping in touch
With the group, we also made it a point to have a daily check-in. 10am and 6pm. We would all grab a “cuppa” (that’s Aussie for a cup of tea), or in my case, coffee and sit in our own driveways and chat to each other for a few minutes.
The next thing our little group did was to wave at every passing motorist.
Sure, some of them looked at us funny or startled. But soon it became one of joy.
We have started meeting more and more of our neighbours that on some days, most of the street gets involved and it’s amazing to see a whole line up of people in their driveways catching up. (Even if this only happened once).
We stick to the social distancing rule and it’s great.
I’ve met and patted more dogs because of this… also considering getting one myself… but it’s still TBD.
Me… with a dog… could you imagine?
Haha. Let’s divert from this conversation or I might really do this.
You will know I am serious about this, if I ever decided to put this task on a spreadsheet somewhere.
One of the other awesome traditions we have also started is to have dinner on Saturday evenings by supporting a local restaurant.
So we all pitch in, put in an order and then one of us will go pick it up. There is no pressure to partake, if you have the means and the capacity – join in.
We have dinner in our driveways on Saturday all the same.
Of course this is all with weather permitting. And plus with Daylight Savings completed, we have start a little later in the morning and a little earlier in the evening.
Spread some positivity
I would encourage you to do the same.
Yes, I understand it’s easier to do in the suburbs than in an apartment but it shouldn’t stop you.
If you can keep your distance, you should be able to chat.
Look at how Italy has responded to being locked in apartments.
I’m sure we can do the same.
Now is as good a time to get to know your neighbours.
Heck, after all, one of our most watched export is the TV show Neighbours.
Ok – I couldn’t help myself, here’s an evolution video that brought back so many memories from those down times during university… or the fact that one of my favourite characters is back whom I had a massive crush on.
And if Fred Rogers was still alive, he would ask you to be a good neighbour too.
Let’s all be good neighbours, not just in these tough times, but after this finishes.
We are in this together. We will get through this together. Have Faith
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