Welcome back to urban kindness: 7 weeks 7 projects. Has the turkey, ham, fish, tofurkey, yesterday’s daylong pickings settled comfortably in your tum? A mighty reward I say if you embarked upon a meander in your hood! The beauty of observing your hood is that you incrementally become what Jane Jacobs referred to as “the eyes on the street” or the unobtrusive caretakers of the area.
“There must be eyes on the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street.” -Jane Jacobs
It is not a light responsibility- being a proprietor of your neighbourhood. It requires investment and the development of a relationship with your place. From your observations and interactions, however, sprout hundreds of acts of urban kindness. From observing my neighbourhood, I knew there was a panoply of younger ones who would be slightly intrigued at the prospect of an alternative hopscotch. So for this week’s project, I’d like to build upon your observations as well as the spirit of giving thanks. From your observations, write down 50 things in your neighbourhood for which you are grateful. This meditative exercise can increase and sustain positive emotion! Maybe, maybe not but it does make you really think about what is happening in your hood. Ten should be easy. Thirty should begin to work your muscles. I’ll share some of mine, if you share some of yours…
No-one told us to get off the street when the Ankle biters were rolling their noisy walkers down the hill, each day, during the summer. The lady at the top of the hill who always waved at Ankle biter 2 during aforementioned outdoor play. Wild blueberries growing by the rubbish bins. The garbos waving hello every week. The backyard neighbour who hosted a stellar Bonfire Night. Being invited to a party by the neighbour who saw us lounging in the sun. The secret passageway rather pedestrian and not vehicular thoroughfare. The big white star in the window that I always ask Ankle Biter 1 to point at….
AND I’d like to leave you with: The post/delivery personnel who leave our packages with our neighbours. I thought it odd at first. But there is inherent trust in humans to do so and for that, I am sincerely grateful.