Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Power of the playground

I was thinking yesterday about how lucky I am to live in this neighborhood. I realize now, how important a strong community is, and how it is missing in most of America. In the car-centric culture of suburbia, we have no need of neighbors. A person can pull up to his garage and never meet anyone on their block.

In northside, with side walks , a central school, and strong churches and preschools, a person can really get involved with people living only a few blocks away.

Now back to my point. Almost everyday, a large group of parents can be found letting the children play together after school. And what do we parents do while the kids are occupied? ,, we network. This simple activity is part of the glue that makes our neighborhood so great. It is not a bunch of separate family units all playing on there pre-fab backyard swing sets, it is real people forming real relationships.

I have met several business contacts here, I find out about the new farmers market in town, I hear all the dirt on local happenings, and we have some very spirited political arguments. It always stays civil, because we are neighbors, and face to face, all of our differences do not seem as important.

The simple act of letting the kids run around for a few minutes after school, has rooted me to the area, educated me, and brought new local business contacts.

So tomorrow when little Johnny asks to go to the playground, just say yes.

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