I live on a large suburban estate. I know my immediate neighbours; I know a few people within the estate; but basically I live in close proximity to thousands of strangers.
Just because I’m happily solo doesn’t mean I want to live disconnected from those around me. It’s important to me to find ways to make a difference within my community.
And I seem to have inadvertently found a few ways of doing so:
- I do my best to make eye contact with those I walk past on the street, to smile and to say hello. I don’t find any of these easy but sometimes I’ll get a smile or a greeting in return and that feels like I’ve made a small connection in that moment.
- If I pass a bramble encroaching or looking like it’s considering encroaching on a path I guide it back into the undergrowth so that itwill grow in such a way as not to be in someone else’s way.
- My house is near a couple of supermarkets and it’s not uncommon to find abandoned shopping trolleys when I’m out on a walk. If I have the time I will wheel them back to the supermarket car park.
I found one today on its side in a children’s playground. I didn’t have the time to return it but I did manage to get it as far as the path at the back of my house in the hope that someone else might take it the rest of the way (or I can return it on another day if it’s still there).
These are all really small acts that cost just a little effort and time. I may never know if they are appreciated, but I do know that by doing them I feel more connected, so they are certainly personally beneficial.
If you would like to feel a better sense of connection with your community then have a think about things that you could easily do that would make a difference and give them a try.