Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Social Capital #4

They say that walking around your neighborhood can increase social capital, which makes sense. The odds of you saying “Hi.” to a neighbor in his/her front yard would logically go way down if you were closed up in a car, driving by. I pursued this idea for a whole week in early March…thus the 4th Social Capital installment in late April. Yesterday, on my walk home for lunch I ran into someone who (I learned recently) will be leaving the university at the end of the semester. I planned on shaking her hand and telling her how much I’d miss her dedication & hard work, etc. The handshake turned into a quick hug. She’s probably giving everyone hugs these days. I mentioned that I hardly ever see her, so I should probably say “goodbye” when I had the chance. It was a brief but meaningful exchange that would not have happened had I been driving.
And then, this morning, just as I was closing the front door behind me, I noticed one of the school’s professors walking by my house. I asked him if he was in a hurry & he said no. So we walked and talked. I could count on two hands the number of times I’ve walked with someone on my way to work…not counting my wife and kids. I think I could do it every day …especially if most days were as pleasant as today. Of course, I couldn’t do weird stuff like walk past the school (and back around the opposite side) to get some extra exercise. I can’t think of anyone who’d put up with that. So, obviously, we took a fairly direct route to campus. It was our version of a carpool, I suppose…and I enjoyed every step of the way. Fellow walker sightings (to date): 19

P.S. Where has all the trash gone in town? It’s been slim pickin’ this week…not that I mind. Yesterday all I found was the very end of a very pink balloon. Today, it was an empty hot sauce (mild) packet from Taco Bell. Both items were roughly right behind the library.

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