The place that I live in is not particularly remarkable. However, it is located in a great location with the famous Lake St Clair on one side and a vibrant street with many delicious restaurants on the other. More remarkably, I am lucky to have some outstanding neighbors – one of whom is an inspiration to write this very first blog.
Most days during the last summer, I would see him in the evening. He would be diligently working in a small garden right outside the apartment. The property management has never paid much attention to improve the aesthetics of the premises. But in a small strip of land available outside every aparment, my inspiring neighbor has made something that every tenant can be envious of. He built wooden pavements around this small strip, filled it with enriched soil and grew a variety of plants, including bright red roses. During the very short summer of the midwest, he worked passionately to build his garden, knowing it would be wiped away the next Winter.
These days, the air is hot with discussions on web2.0, community and social networking. Sometimes simple analogies can prove more effective than reading tons of books. In my view, the gardener next door draws a powerful analogy on the essence of building a community. He used a common area that does not really belong to him, for creating value for himself and people around . He invested time and energy to create beauty while inspiring others not because he had to, but because he found pleasure and satisfaction in doing so. More importantly, he did not treat it as a passing thing but took it as a serious venture. Hats off to this neighbor and to his credit, I have bought a few gardening materials to build my own little garden!
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