I normally write on topics related to the law. As much as I enjoy and writing about new and different subtleties, they're all part of a bigger picture. That is that we're all living together in a community, doing our best.
You can see the strength of a community in small ways. It could be neighbors talking over a fence or across a driveway, saying hello to a person you see on a walk, or just being nice because we are all in this together. So much of “community” is an attitude. We can open ourselves to being a part of a community with the right mindset.
As tired as everyone feels from talking about coronavirus, I have to recognize one good thing to come in its wake—and make no mistake, there was very little silver lining to come out of the pandemic. Every time I left my house, rain or shine, I felt a sense of community. People were on walks, riding bikes, and in their yards. They were out in the community. People were making conversation. There was, at times, a wonderful nostalgic feel to it all.
It is hard to forecast how things will be different now. Because of coronavirus, the world may never be the same. Some change will be for the better, and some will undoubtedly be for the worse. Hopefully, one of the positive lasting changes will be the continued sense of community. It can happen in those same, barely noticeable, ways. We can take the time to be mindful of one another without the world making us. We can slow down, even for a couple minutes here and there. We can appreciate one another. The togetherness does not have to fade just because “normal”—whatever that means now—is back.
The coronavirus lockdown somehow brought a change in attitude. And with that change in attitude, there was a change in behavior. People recognized on a different level that we are in this together, and they acted like it. People drove slowly through neighborhoods; people made sure to give cyclists enough space; people made a point to let pedestrians cross safely; and people were mindful of their dogs' behaviors.
Safety was a priority because community was a priority. Nobody had to ask; it was just done. The attitude that allowed that to happen is within us. We can make the community safer by making the community stronger. Let's keep each other a priority.