Suspicious white panel van crawling down the street turns out to be…

I have been enjoying NextDoor, the social media app about geographical neighborhoods. Here’s something that happened there recently that I wanted to share. It inspired me to write for the first time in awhile, for which I am very grateful! Here is the original post from one of my neighbors and my thoughts that it all inspired.

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This Sunday morning I got out of the house about 10am and was about to start my car when I noticed a white van with NO signs on it crawling slowly along the street, the young African-American driver looking out his window searching houses as he passed them. “Uh-oh!…” I thought.

The van was about to pass our house, then it stopped, the driver got out, beamed me a wide friendly smile and handed me my Amazon package!

Just wanted to pass this story along–yes crime happens, (and I’m so sorry for those who experience it first hand,) yet not all suspicious vehicles are out to get us…

Have a safe evening (day, week, month, year)!

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AFTER a bunch of middling and conservative stance comments you might expect from assorted people of literally all types–many races and cultures, a spectrum of intelligence and politics and socio-economic levels, one important comment was simply, “Driving while black shouldn’t be considered illicit behavior.” I pulled out my soapbox and posted this:

“Just as being black shouldn’t seem illegal! I thank Sam for drawing attention to the race problem that we all need to help make right asap. Seriously. Without wanting to minimize that, I sincerely hope no one misconstrued what the original poster was trying to tell us though.

I think her point was to post something on here that ended WELL to help balance out the many posts focused on a negative outcome. Typically, discussions here fan the flames of fear and anger more than they leave everyone feeling more uplifted by the closer community connection available on this app. There’s a reason for that. Please indulge me. I have been thinking about this a lot and it wants to get out of me.

Think of the NextDoor neighborhoods around you as your village. It has always been human nature to check in with others close-by for cues about the best approach to whatever must be faced. Such as: “I feel wronged! Am I overreacting? How are others feeling about it?” Safety in numbers. This is the part of our psyche that suddenly blossoms during the teenage years, I think. Anyway, that’s why when something bad happens to one of us we jump on here to let everyone know. We want to help each other and the more people I have “on my side” who share my point of view, the stronger I feel. Hey, actually, the stronger I AM if we can face whatever it is as a group in agreement!

And we DO tend to focus on the bad stuff. We have all heard that people remember negative experiences more than positive ones… or that it takes TEN positive reviews to counteract ONE negative one. If humans weren’t hard-wired that way, our primitive ancestors would have risked having to repeat important lessons about what is dangerous, like “don’t eat rotten food.” Once you have eaten bad food you are likely to be much more cautious about the cleanliness of your kitchen, which amounts to protecting yourself better. That’s all we really want—for our homes and loved-ones to be safe.

So the way I see it, our challenge is to be aware of this tendency in us to notice and focus on potential threats and strive to look for better balance. Make a point of drawing attention to positive outcomes when the opportunity presents itself. It will be a welcome antidote to a rather scary and lonely time to be alive. When the tall weeds in your yard bloom into a glorious ocean of color, don’t forget to share that with us here too. We need it.”

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