Get Amongst It

Everyone knows someone who recently turned vegan, and therefore expects everyone else to follow suit.

Or has suddenly realised that ‘Big-Pharma’ may not be all it’s cracked up to be, and chastises you for buying Nestle products for some reason.

Or just watched a documentary on how 9/11 was an inside job, and has to tell the world that the Iraq war was actually about the oil.

Well, that’s kind of what has happened to me, but with community.

Going up in Wales, we knew our neighbours, and got involved in a few things, but I generally wasn’t that fussed with community stuff. Then I moved to London for a few years where, for the most part, you don’t make eye contact with members of your community, let alone ask them how their day was.

As far as I was concerned, if a stranger started to talk to me, it was either a distraction for when their mates decided to rob me. Or they were a mentalist.

Because of course, friendly conversation on London’s public transport network doesn’t exist.

I brought that attitude with me when I came to New Zealand. Living in Linwood, which admittedly can be a little rough around the edges, the attitude seemed fairly appropriate. Until I started noticing that I would occasionally get a nod from a stranger when I was out walking the dogs.  Or someone would ask me how my day was as I was putting the bins out.

I’ve now started to notice that the more involved I get with community things e.g. markets, workshops etc. the more I get out of it. There are some weird feelings that come from community based things. I haven’t worked out what exactly evokes these feelings yet. Maybe it’s the relief of not being mugged. Or that person isn’t actually a mentalist, and happens to be quite nice to talk to. Or maybe the long, alcoholic days with only two dogs for company are starting to take its toll.

Whatever it is, there’s a lot to be said for getting amongst the community.


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