When my village announced plans to repave my block last summer, many of my neighbors worried about the noise, the dust, and the inconvenience of not being able to park their cars on the street for several days.
But then a funny thing happened. We found ourselves getting out more as we walked to and from errands. In addition to getting exercise, we came into contact with each other more frequently. In fact, I saw one neighbor who had moved in two years ago more in the two days that work crews were paving my street than in the previous two years combined.
Surprisingly, some of my neighbors found that they didn’t mind the inconvenience quite as much as they anticipated. “I like life in the slow lane,” said one, a woman who found that she actually enjoyed walking to and from errands with her children.
“It slows me down,” she said. “When I walk with my kids, we actually talk. We’re not just running into the car on our way to and from the grocery store.”
Having the street repaved last summer proved to be a boon to the neighborhood. Like a block party, it brought everyone out of their houses from hibernation and encouraged them to socialize with each other in ways they
Watch the “Road Construction” Video!
had forgotten. People moved about, carrying packages and running errands — and some actually talked to each other for the first time in years.
The road construction project reminded us that the Unplug and Reconnect concept is very appropriate to our age. It taught us that we need to pause from the constant hustle and bustle and and take a break from a world in which we don’t have time for each other anymore.
Perhaps we all could use the “inconvenience” of a road construction project to get in touch with what’s really important in life.
TOMORROW – Dr. Geliebter describes an early “unplug” protest movement.