This morning after I was well into my jog, I realized I had forgotten to bring any identification with me. I typically throw some sort of ID in my pocket before I leave; usually just a business card. I figure as long as it has my name and phone number on it, it would be easy enough for someone to determine where I live if something were to happen to me while I was getting my exercise.
My first thought when I realized my ID was missing was that perhaps I should go back home to retrieve it, but I wasn’t feeling that energetic, so I decided to just finish without it. But then I started thinking, well, what if something was to happen to me? Do my neighbors know me well enough to know who I am? Would I just be a Jane Doe until a family member realized I hadn’t returned home?
I moved into a new county, town and neighborhood a year and a half ago, and I’ve made a point to meet my nearby neighbors. I love the feel of a community; a place where you can walk down the street and talk to people you know. I wanted to feel that sense of belonging. And luckily, I have been able to make friends with several of the people in the homes near mine. And a few weeks ago in a local grocery store, I was introduced to another neighbor, and she said, “Hey, I know you! I see you running in the mornings!” So I do know some of my neighbors, and they know me.
But when I go out on my morning jog, I pick my route based on my mood. Sometimes it’s a 2 mile quick run, and sometimes 4. I run by a lot of homes on many different streets. I do not know who lives in most of those homes. While I wave and say good morning to a lot of people, I don’t personally know them and they don’t know me.
So what’s the bottom line?
I need to get to know a lot more of my neighbors, because neighborhoods can be as big or small as you want them to be, and I want mine to be huge. I don’t want to be a Jane Doe. Until then, however, I need to remember to carry ID with me from now on, since as I’ve realized, most of my neighbors have no idea who I am.
How well do your neighbors know you?