2012-01-20

Socializing with all the tenants of the same building

You cannot always choose your neighbors, especially if you rent an apartment. One bad neighbor is often enough to turn your daily life into a living hell. One of the worst things that a neighbor can do to me is to make noise constantly, whether intentionally or not. I used to suffer a lot from such noisy neighbors. If I could choose neighbors, I would also evade unsociable people who do not even offer greetings not only to me but also to anyone else in the same building.

A good neighbor, on the other hand, is an asset hard to come by. By "a good neighbor" I mean someone who not only is not noisy but also is sociable. Now I am not only blessed with something rarer - all the tenants in the building where I live are such neighbors - but also am experiencing something I have never experienced anywhere else in my entire life - all of us socialize together! So far we have had two parties and one Sabbath meal together; one of the tenants even composed a special poem for this occasion, intertwining the given names of all of us! I really hope that we will have more of these gatherings. I will probably initiate and host one in the near future instead of just waiting passively for others to do so.

Such socialization of the whole building must have been enabled by a combination of chances. One is the fact that most of us are in our thirties or forties. Another is the fact that most of us are frum though our exact affiliations vary.

This precious experience has made me realize three things. First of all, those who have initiated these gatherings have made me think that we should focus more on what we can give to others than on what we can get from them. The above mentioned Sabbath meal is a good example; each of us thought how he or she would be able to contribute to the meal. Second, having so many good neighbors, especially under one roof, and socializing with them, even only once in a while, can greatly enhance our life. Third, even a group of many good neighbors, however, cannot be a substitute for a significant other, whom I do not have now.