When NASA undertook manned space flight, the scientists working to get John Glenn’s rocket back to earth said that the math didn’t exist. In the excellent movie, Hidden Figures, one of the heroines, Katherine Goble Johnson, knew that a parabolic orbit was called for and fetched a textbook to prove the theory. Her stunned colleagues described it as “ancient” but saw the genius of it.
On the housing front, we’re on similar ground. The solution, which does not widely exist, is also ancient but it works: being a member of an interconnected community. Although it is foreign now, we all lived it once and we hunger for it now.
We can and we must re-create communities with the capacity to rediscover the shared humanity that knits us together.
Expense and isolation are at the root our housing challenges. A community oriented lifestyle that is social and economical would make life better, sweeter, and safer on many levels.
This article, How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult, articulates that the way housing is organized, combined with adult responsibilities, gets in the way of maintaining long standing friendships and contributes to our isolation.
“A key ingredient for the formation of friendships is repeated spontaneous contact. That’s why we make friends in school — because we are forced into regular contact with the same people. It is the natural soil out of which friendship grows.”
Okay. So, how do we get where so many of us want to go – a community experience right where we live? Getting to know people at meetups and neighborhood groups is certainly a start, but turning the conversation to discussions about housing could be awkward, especially with people who don’t know each other.
So… have conversations with people you do know. Creating many opportunities for conversations with people you already know, and with new people you’ll probably enjoy, is my goal.
After puzzling over this for years, the Strategy for healthier communities and better housing is the fruit of that effort.
Warm up your soup pot, roll up your social sleeves, and, together, let’s gather often to create resilient communities that support us where we live.
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