Alley (Photo credit: paulswansen)
Being a good neighbor has come up twice in the past 24 hours for me. Not so much, being a good neighbor, as the overall concept of simply being a neighbor.
Yesterday’s occasion occurred when I walked out the door of our apartment to go check the mail, which didn’t get delivered until well after 6pm. I digress, so back to the story. I open our door and step out into the hallway to find three Wheat Ridge Police standing across the hall in front of a neighbor’s door. One of the police turned and asked if I knew the individual at that apartment.
Now some background. We’ve lived in this particular location since 2005 and are one of 10 apartments in the building. Of the 10 apartments in the building, we’re one of the five who are still here since we moved in back in 2005. If you’re an apartment dweller or have been one you know the drill about your neighbors. You exchange nod’s or polite conversation should you meet in the hall or while getting your mail. There is also the possibility that once or twice a year there might be a building gathering or cookout for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. Otherwise, we all keep to ourselves.
I responded to the Police question, with an short response as in the above paragraph. Yes I knew who the individual was, by sight and that was about the total of what I knew. I didn’t bother to qualify the answer with, I had better things to do than spend my days peering out my door peephole monitoring my neighbors hallway activities.
This morning’s neighbor came electronically via Chris Brogan. Chris sends out a weekly email missive on various subjects, today’s being about neighbors. Of course, this focused on being a digital neighbor. What is interesting to note is that I likely know more about my digital neighbors than those who live in our building. My digital neighbors reside in Finland, Switzerland, the U.K., India, Nairobi, Kenya, and in most of the 50 United States.
Growing up in North Suburban Chicago, there were as many neighbors on our street as there are currently in our apartment building. 50 years ago, I knew more about those neighbors, than I do about those living in our building today.
Who knew back then that my neighbors and neighborhood would so drastically change.