Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Peter Lovenheim, a writer who loves across town from me, posed an intersting question in his NY Times article yesterday.
Why is it that in an age of cheap long-distance rates, discount airlines and the Internet, when we can create community anywhere, we often don’t know the people who live next door?

After tragedy struck a family on his street, he was disappointed to realize that he didn't really know anything about his neighbors. And he was a little dismayed to learn that the same held true for the other folks on his block. He vowed to rectify that, to make a concious effort to get to know each and every person on his street.

I think his observations ring true. We've become more isolated, less connected to the people around us. It's easy to chat online with people around the world, but why is it so hard to have a conversation with people who live down the street, with people who spend their lives just a few yards away?