A sense of belonging...

Mortgage and Lending with Zenith Mortgage Advisors NMLS# 5016

I made a new friend today through active rain...Jackie Peraza.  We had a great meeting, and hopefully will be able to enrich each others businesses.  Jackie wrote a post Won't you be my neighbor? that was thanking the Active Rain community for their warmth and hospitality.  It got me to thinking...

We, as a society, lack a sense of community. This may be one reason that we have such rabid loyalties to our sports team.  I am a season ticket holder for the Red Sox.  There is no scarier place to be for a Yankees fan then Fenway on game night.  We are the Hatfields and McCoys.  We dislike the Yankees players, and the Yankees fans.  They dislike us.  Why is that?  I think it is because it is a chance to belong to a family.  It's a chance to be part a a group with common interests.  We need that as humans, and we have lost this in our neighborhoods in large part.

I grew up in CT.  There were 58 houses in the neighborhood, and I knew the families in every one of those houses.  We still refer to the homes by the names of owners who haven't lived there in 20 years.  That is because we no longer know who lives there.  It's sad.

I have lived in the same house with my wife and 3 kids for 6 years now.  I couldn't tell you the name of the people who live DIRECTLY across the street from us.  That was until 2.5 months ago when my wife passed away.  Then, people I had never met reached out to me, to offer food support, even money.  It was shocking.  Having been where I have in the past few months, I write this to encourage each and every person who reads this...reach out to someone you don't know well yet.

Try to foster a sense of "old fashioned" community with people around you.  Say hello when you get home at night instead of pulling into the garage and closing the door behind you.  Be hospitable.  Be kind.  You never know how you might impact someone with your thought.

Arrange a block party, or a cocktail party at your home.  It won't cost much, and it might even boost your business.  I know it will boost your sense of belonging and connection to others.

Emily Lowe
RE/MAX Homes and Estates, Lipman Group - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor
I am so sorry to hear about your wife and I am sure it is difficult to find the good in it, but you have managed to~  I am going to make more of an effort to put myself out there and take the risk to befriend someone.  You are right that we live too much behind closed doors. 
Nov 09, 2007 11:13 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Bob:  Before commenting, I went and read Jackie's post about Mr Rogers and his Neighborhood.  Watching his show every day was something my daughter Robin and I did... as often as we could.  It came to be "our time."  I think for many that Active Rain has become somewhat of a community for us, too.  I think that in some ways that it is sad that many of us, myself included, have to go "online" to find a community atmosphere like this... but I also think that for many of us, myself included, that it is great that this community is here for all of us to share.  Bob, thanks for taking the time to share this with us...  Karen Anne
Nov 09, 2007 04:29 PM
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507
Bob, I am so sorry about your loss.  I know what you mean about "the old neighborhood".  I grew up the same way you did.  In fact, in our neighborhood, not only did most of the houses stay in the family but a lot of us married each other.  I fell out of the flock, we divorced, sold the house (to another neighbor to keep it in the same group of people) and I moved across the country.  Now, where I live, we pull in the garage and close the door.  In 5 years of living here, I only know about 4 of the neighbors.  I will make an effort to meet more people.  Good advice! 
Nov 09, 2007 05:35 PM
Terri Habecker
AIG, Allied, Fireman's Fund, CNA, Travelers,The Hartford, Pr - Dana Point, CA
Life Matters & So Does Your Insurance Co

Bob, I am grateful for my community and neighbors. My husband mentioned that maybe we can buy a bigger new house a couple months ago and I replied "No" I love the neighborhood, the neighbors and I would rather put money into our home than move.

I've lived several places in OC and could not believe how rude and nasty people can be. The neighbor who called police because our dog barked once when a deer ran through the backyard because he let his dilapitated fence fall down and left it for us to clean up. The neighbor who came over, got drunk and ordered cases of the worst wine when we hosted a party and told everyone, not to buy wine. We got stuck with the bill. No waves, no hellos, no welcome to the neighborhood.

I live in a community that is truly a community in every way. From the shop owners, local business's with service being #1, neighbors who watch and look out for one another. Move? I hope never.

Nov 10, 2007 12:47 AM
Nancy Pav
Century 21 Redwood Realty - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor


It was nice to see your name and post.   I haven't seen you at a retreat in a long time!

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife.  I hope that you and your children are well.

Your sentiment is very true.  It's important to feel like you belong.  I was out in a small town a few weeks back and people were just so friendly.  It really made me feel good.  We need to each, in our own small way, need to be just a little more friendly and relaxed.

FYI...I don't hate RED SOX fans...LOL

Nov 10, 2007 02:48 AM
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties
Bob, nice post and the sentiment is so relevant to us all. Thank you for the post.
Nov 10, 2007 03:29 AM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Thanks for an uplifting post. So sorry to hear about your wife. This post can be inspiring to others.
Nov 10, 2007 03:29 AM
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT


My prayers are with you and your children, I lost my Mom, too young, as well.  I do believe that a true neighborhood does do the hustle and bustle all week long.  Most people are working or running with their children to various activites.  But, like your neighbors came to you, when you needed their care and comfort, my neighbors do, too.  I do miss sitting on the front porch, most of us have moved to the deck out back, where no one sees you.  I appreciate your post, it does make us think about consistent community and care.  Hope to see you at an event.  Take care

Nov 10, 2007 04:35 AM
Peggy K.
Grand Property Virtual Tours - Buffalo Grove, IL
Illinois Virtual Tour Provider and Real Estate Photographer


Thanks so much for sharing.  You are so right.  I still live in the neighborhood I grew up in, and like you said, know the homes by the people that were in them when I was small.  I hope you continue to make new friends and keep your "sense of belonging".  I'm so sorry for your loss.

Nov 10, 2007 04:40 AM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Bob - Thanks for placing this one in "Family Ties".  I featured it within the group as well.  Have a terrific weekend!
Nov 10, 2007 06:14 AM
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Bob, my deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.

Your post is so true. Humans are  social beings, if we can't be friends with our neighbor, we will reach out for friends on the internet. We should be more  aware of our day to day life!

Nov 10, 2007 06:38 AM
Gil Kerbashian Real Estate Loans
Gil Kerbashian Real Estate Loans - Crystal Lake, IL
That's one thing I feel in the Midwest and didn't in Los Angeles.
Nov 10, 2007 01:03 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Homesmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
What a great point, Bob.  I have long shared this belief.  We care too much about certain things (sports, pop culture, etc) because we are not fully enriched in others.  That was an absolutely brutal turn to read about you losing your wife at such a young age.  As a relatively young husband and father, I won't pretend that I could imagine such a loss.  My deepest condolences.
Nov 10, 2007 01:26 PM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Bob this is a lovely thought.  I am very lucky in the neighborhood department (L.A. can be friendly!).  Our street is really fun.  We all know each other and have regular block parties. 
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife.  Please know that your family will be in my thoughts.

Nov 13, 2007 03:37 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA

I want to thank everyone for the support and sympathy.  The kindness of others both old friends and new has meant all the difference to me.

A sense of community and belonging can be an enormous buffer to the slights of the world, both personal and professional.

Thank you.

Nov 13, 2007 03:23 PM
Sandy Noll
(RSVP Real Estate) 425.890.0878 - Gig Harbor, WA
RE Pro Serving Snohomish to Thurston Counties
Bob my heartfelt condolences to you and your family.  I couldn't even imagine how you must be feeling.  I don't live far from the neighborhood I grew up in and we still call the homes by the owners names who lived there when I did.  I went to a memorial service this weekend for one of my cul-de-sac friends whose dad passed away and we did just that.  We recalled who lived where.  Now....all the neighbors pull in the garage and some start closing the door before shutting off the engine of their car.  I'm going to make a point of saying hello more often.  Thanks for the reminder.
Nov 13, 2007 03:32 PM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
Bob - Just got back vacation and have started to catch up today with my AR reading. This is a really great post. I know we don't know each other but wanted to express my condolences for the loss of your wife. I actually met her a year or so ago at a party in Hopedale. She was a friend of my girlfriends. Hearing the news from my girlfriend was young. Hope you and your family have a great holiday...I know it can be that much tougher at this time of year. Wishing you the best.
Nov 25, 2007 02:54 AM
Rick Tourgee
Robert Paul Properties, Inc. - Provincetown, MA
Provincetown and Cape Cod

Bob- Great post!  Albeit a little sad.  I am so sorry about the passing of your wife.

In real estate, this is a people business.  It is vital to meet as many people as possible.  It is difficult to get to know everybody intimately.  But, it is important for people to know you.  Without people, there is no business.

Dec 01, 2007 11:29 PM
Crystal Pina
Ware, MA
Keller Williams Realty
I've lived in my home for 4 years. I just this past summer had my back door neighbors over for a barbeque for the first time.
Mar 07, 2008 01:22 AM
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent
Bob- What a beautiful post. We all get caught up in the craziness we call our lives and forget to take the time to lean over the fence and chat. Thank you for reminding us all that doing so is so important. I, as those before me, am sorry to hear about the passing of your wife and offer my condolences and prayers.
Mar 07, 2008 05:14 AM