Today it rained…and I had no idea it was going to. Do you know why? Because I don’t watch my local news. Since I moved to Arizona I have a disconnect with my local area because there is no downtown, no sense of community and I just don’t care. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think so. Ask your neighbors. If you even know them. I knew all my neighbors in New Jersey beacause I saw them day to day, as I parked in my driveway and unpacked my groceries, as we worked on our house, as we sat on the porch and hung out, as we lent tools to the neighbors, as we watched the children play in the street, etc. I don’t know my neighbors here in Arizona. We all seem to be strangers here because we drive into our garages and close the automatic doors. It’s a shame. I feel very alienated here in Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful here. It’s just that the housing tracts are so artfully designed with our privacy walls and our own pools that we all seem to keep to ourselves in our busy lives that we don’t run into each other and talk. I’ve had to join a woman’s group just to meet friends.
In other parts of the country, neigh the world there is a “downtown” where people gather, meet and get to know each other. Here there are nothing but strip malls, Florida and California, too. I believe this is the downfall of America. People no longer know their neighbors nor care. It’s a shame!
When you do not know your neighbors you will not care what happens to each other. It will seem an abstraction. Others will just be strangers and it is easier not to care. This is why people have such a laissez faire attitude about crime. It is about “other” people, not neighbors you know or care about or other members of your own community. We need community to relate to each other. Even cavemen had community. We are disconnecting ourselves from each other with our constant use of social media, too. It is bad for everyone when we no longer feel the need to get out and interact with live people. I don’t even know where other areas ARE in respect to my neighborhood. I don’t feel a sense of belonging here. I don’t think anyone does anymore. We’re all so transient and separatist. Kids don’t really play in the streets with each other anymore do they, they play on their asses on their x-boxes with grown men cursing up a storm? How many real friends do you have, compared to Facebook friends? Isn’t that a little weird? How many hours are you working for your company on your computer and I-phone? These means of social media were supposed to make our lives easier not us slaves, right? Life is not simpler, it is just more confusing and sadder in some ways . . . please spend time this Christmas with your family and enjoy and make it simple!
What do you think?
Written by Evelyn Garone 12/12/11