Back in February, I blogged about how violated I felt when my car was broken into. Since then, there have been a number of vandalisms and break-ins on our block.
Last week, I attended a block meeting with my neighbors, the Alderman, and the police. The meeting was populated by people who lived within a one block radius of my house. Although there were a few familiar faces, I was shocked by how many unfamiliar faces were there. The group was a mix of Blacks, Whites, and Orthodox Jews.
As the meeting began to wind down, several people came over to me and told me that they had seen me walk past their house every week with my children (on my way to shul), but that they didn't know my name. You all know how terrible I am with names, but I made a real effort that night to introduce myself and try to remember some of their names and faces, so that I could greet them more personally the next time I walk past them as they water their lawns.
There was one sentiment that was echoed over and over again by the attendees. Whether they were Black, White, or Jew, they all said the same thing:
This is our block, and we are all neighbors, and we have to look out for each other.
Wouldn't it be great if the rest of the world worked this way?