Who are the people in your neighborhood?
November 25, 2011
I used to love this.
When you live on a small island, in a small country, it helps to like your neighbors. Ever since I read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and started my journey to being a localvore, I’ve gotten to know people on the island I wouldn’t ordinarily. We know the chickens that lay our eggs, we know the baker (our bread comes to our door once a week), we socialize with the doctors and teachers and vintners. After ten years, there are very few public places that I can go to without leaving room for conversations. “When are the girls coming home?” ” Hows the new version coming along?” ” How was your trip up north?”.
Some people would find this type of environment claustrophobic. I think it all keeps us honest. Here there are no secrets, there is no lying.
When my daughter took off school to see a doctor in Auckland, two people texted me to say she was on the ferry and did I need someone to make sure she reached her destination alright.
Just this morning as I was getting a cup of coffee, the local Plumbing man came up t o me and said his daughter still used Arithmetic village three years after she attended my workshop. Three years. She was singing the rhyme. Tis is the type of feedback I would not get in a larger city.
I like it.
Now, with the popularity of Facebook, I know more details about people who were acquaintances. I now know what they are having for thanksgiving. This leaves me with more to talk about when we meet at the park or at the petrol station. Now my village is getting bigger and familiarity with people from my past and people whom I’ve never met is growing.
I wonder how social media will change our neighborhoods. My intuition is that they will change for the better.