The Queensland floods have brought complete strangers together through both grief and support – but how well do you know your own neighbours or those you speak to everyday?
Just like the song from Sesame Street says “Who are the people in your neighourhood?”
Another post on Unclutterer called “Uncluttered benefits of learning people’s names” got me thinking of this very topic and how my own life has been enriched by knowing my newsagent, my car mechanic, the folks at my post office, the local bakery and liquor store. Not only is it great for the community spirit – but who knows what support they can give you (and vice versa) during an emergency such as a flood?
Unclutterer: I grew up in a small town where everyone already knew everybody else’s name. When I moved to a major city, I missed knowing my neighbors and the people where I went. So, a decade ago, I started making it a point to know people’s names. I know the names of the checkout clerks, butchers, and the wine and cheese buyers at the grocery store; I know the names of my regular mail man; I know the name of the woman who schedules appointments at my hair salon; I know the names of bus drivers, cab drivers, and the women who work at the dry cleaner’s. And, for the most part, these people know my name, too.
Although learning people’s names takes a little bit of time (you must strike up a conversation), I’ve found that the act has incredible uncluttering benefits overall. Had I not started talking with my butcher, I’d have never known that I can order a quarter of a cow (instead of a whole cow) from a local grass-roaming, organic farm each year and that the butcher will cut up the meat for me exactly how I ask him to, free of additional charge. Buying a quarter of a cow has saved me incredible amounts of money and time (I don’t have to run to the store).
Twice, I’ve called the receptionist at my hair salon and she has found a way to get me on the schedule at the last minute, and I haven’t had to whine or beg or threaten or do anything other than ask nicely. The mail and package delivery folks always wait for me to answer the bell, instead of slapping a sticker on the door and driving away like I know some of them do. I get my package on the first delivery attempt instead of having to go to a central office to pick something up or wait another day. Bus drivers have waited for me as I’ve hurried down the street. Simply stated, my life runs more smoothly because I’ve taken the time to learn someone’s name and taken a sincere interest in what they do. Read more here: http://unclutterer.com/2011/01/13/uncluttered-benefits-of-learning-peoples-names/
Who can you connect with today that will not only benefit your life, but who may have their lives enriched by you as well?