Why do people stand in the freezing cold in Times Square to celebrate New Year’s? Crowd together for a parade so closely they can hear each other breath? March peacefully, calmly, even if in danger, for a cause? If camaraderie, connection to other people, heightens excitement and hopefulness, may all peaceful events always be filled to capacity. But I want to continue that connection all year.
I’m trying to make it a habit to read the news. Not The NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine. Not even Scientific American or Cook’s Illustrated, two of my favorites. But when I can get my hands on the Woodinville Weekly and its cousins, Real Change, and the newsletters from all the non-profits, such as Homeward Pet, in my sphere of influence, I read them cover to cover. The articles challenge me to think and stay anchored in my home – “Think globally, act locally” comes to mind.
Local news is as intensely about connection as it gets. It’s about congratulating the kids who saved the basketball game for the team, honoring the local volunteer agency that trains service dogs. And when I happened to see a question “Are there service dog agencies in the area?” in my NextDoor network, I had an answer. What is NextDoor? An online community grouped by geographic neighborhoods, which allows people to post anything from “For Sale” notices to “Come to our House of Worship Thanksgiving Party” invitations. A quiet, simple, effective way to scale walls.
I recently gave away a paper shredder through NextDoor. HURRAH for a monstrous-big machine out of my closet. And another small business owner now has its benefit. More connection.
Connection fosters physical and mental health. Smile at someone for no reason whatsoever except you want to smile. Read a newspaper.
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