Last night I had a email from my next door neighbor. The new chair I ordered came early and was sitting outside my house in a huge box. She was emailing to asking how she could help. Only problem, the box is big and she didn’t have a key to my house. I told her I’d get in touch with my other neighbor who had a key. A minute after my text, the other neighbor let me know that “No worries, we are already on it.”
I love my neighbors. I know them. Not just their names, but their stories, their children, and I haven’t hesitated to ask them for help. And that’s why I enjoyed reading this article on “The End of Neighbors, How our increasingly closed-off lives are poisoning our politics and endangering our health.” It states that, ” Between the mid-1990s and 2008, the percentage of Americans who reported eating at least once a month with relatives with whom they didn’t live rose from 52 to 59. Over a longer period (1974 to 2008), the percentage who spent an evening socializing with neighbours tumbled from 44 to 31, while the percentage who never did so rose from 20 to 30. The evolving modern definition of a good neighbour is no longer someone who is part of your life, someone you chat with over the fence, a reliable shoulder in good times and bad, but someone who doesn’t bother you, either in your enjoyment of your home or by threatening its property value.“
So what does this have to do with a chair and increasing your life by 15 years? The article goes on to say, “She argues that humans need face-to-face contact, as they need air and water. We have evolved for it, to the extent that those surrounded by a tight-knit group of friends who regularly gather to eat—and, crucially, gossip—live an average of 15 years longer than loners. Quality face-to-face contact is essential for a social species.”
Congratulations my community. If you know your neighbors (which most of you do) you might just live 15 years longer. Another reason why I choose Cheverly!