Neighborhood packing

This family sharing a meal is much whiter than I prefer. I strongly prefer inter-racial, interfaith, intergenerational communities. Let’s work together to make this happen. See the comments about this photo.

Neighborhood packing, living near people you enjoy, could effectively remedy our long-standing twin crises – housing and isolation.

For many years I’ve advocated for harmonious home sharing as a solution to the housing crisis and to the isolation that plagues so many of us. Living near people you like is almost as good as living with people you like. For some it’s far better.

Neighborhood packing, living near people who like each other, can get us on track to create high-functioning communities that are friendly, safe, resilient and maybe even affordable.

Of course, cultivating relationships with existing neighbors is ideal but in our isolated, sometimes paranoid, culture, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Friendships take root with frequent, spontaneous interaction. Sharing common ground or values adds a satisfying, enriching spice.

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult explains that friendships are essential to happiness but adult responsibilities – children, aging parents, work, household chores – often crowd out the time that maintaining healthy friendships requires.

“Our ability to form and maintain friendships is shaped in crucial ways by the physical spaces in which we live.”

Having friends within walking distance lifts the spirit by counteracting the isolation that pervades our culture. Few opportunities for casual, spontaneous social interaction is an underlying cause of our malaise. Coffee shops are today’s equivalent of the diners of bygone years but often, except for people meeting for an appointment, they are as devoid of social interaction as a library.

When we don’t bump up against people, especially those outside our milieu, we often retreat into a bubble that insulates us from reality and from people who could temper and enrich our experience of the world.

One of the great pleasures of living in Chicago, particularly in Uptown, is living with the great diversity of humanity. My intention with Neighborhood Packing is celebrating our diversity and increasing our tolerance and acceptance of those from different socio-economic backgrounds.

Neighborhood packing is a new approach and I will incorporate it into the Self Maintained Profile for Home Sharing. In the meantime, please contact me for more information or to invite me to talk about it with your group.

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3 thoughts on “Neighborhood packing

  1. Hi Elaine. Thanks for asking. When people complete the Self Maintained Profile for Home Sharing, which I will revise to include Neighborhood Packing and not just home sharing, their profile will go into a searchable database where people can sort for preferences such as neighborhood, budget, time frame, and preferences for lifestyle, food, pets, politics and more. Here’s the link

  2. This is a comment from a friend LD for whom I have the highest respect and admiration:

    LD: Wanted to share a thought, not a rant (though it may sound ranty).

    We are what we are. In your recent missive you prefer if the picture of the family sharing a meal would be more diverse. I really recoiled at that caption. I do get (I think) that your point is an attempt to be inclusive, but it’s kind of insulting to the family who actually achieves a family meal.

    More important, please Don’t rely on appearance; who’s to say who in that picture is LGBQT or struggling with disability or mental illness? There are many ways to be a minority and obvious color is only one. Dinner together in the 21st is a triumph, even for those perceived to not be diverse.

    What would be a better picture or caption? Perhaps a dinner that appears diverse (but who are all supporters of Trump, LOL). Still a diverse dinner and praising it as such….that appears to represent what we can achieve in an accepting society might be worth considering. Please don’t insult us poor ignorant white families 😁. And stop apologizing for being white.

    Thought I should mention that your potluck picture is all white BTW. There should be NO apology needed for that either.

    My reply: If you have the time and interest, putting your rant in the comments of the post would (could) spark valuable discussion on an important perspective.

    The danger of writing this stuff myself, without a sounding board or an editor, is that it is 1,000% slanted toward my opinion.

    LD: Just to say again, didn’t intend to be a scold …

    My Reply: Thanks LD. I appreciate, REALLY appreciate your perspective and that you took the time to comment. I had not thought of it that way and you are right, of course. Any family dinner in the 21st century is a triumph indeed. Yes, the potluck at my house was all white and tomorrow’s will be too.

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