There's a video my kids sometimes watch with characters Bob the tomato & Larry the cucumber. In the midst of the silliness, one episode asks the question - "Are you my neighbour?"
I live on a street, in a community, in my city. Truly, that's enough to keep track of. I'm aware I'm part of a global community, but that's a bit of a larger thing that I can choose to ignore or acknowledge as I care to at the moment. Generally I pride myself in not watching the local news even. I keep my neighbourhood neat & tidy, close to home. I have my world of online friends - and yes, they span continents even, but since I access them in my cozy office, they too belong close to home.
I read a book a couple months ago (there's a nice library close to home, so I've generally got a few on the go). It was one of those types of books that you could read, acknowledge as a good read, then put down and carry on with life OR you could read it and realize wow! The world is so much larger than I had imagined!
Now, I didn't just crawl out from under a rock. I'm aware of various struggles going on globally. I didn't just read this book and suddenly realize there was hurt beyond my geographic realm. But I do think it is fair to liken it to plugging your ears and humming while trying to avoid eye contact with someone you really don't want to acknowledge. Once you see them (and they see you seeing them) there's no turning back to continuing the avoidance game.
That book put things right in front of my nose - things I think I was just avoiding recognizing before. If I don't really tune in, I can pretend it's not happening, right?
Well, my neighbourhood has expanded. I'm a touch on the side of freaked in that I am making a conscious decision NOT to just put it to the side as a good read. My fingers are out of my ears, my humming has stopped.
How big is your neighbourhood?