What is cocooning? Wiki defines it as “Cocooning has been in our bank for thirty years. That’s how early we discovered cocooning, and cocooning is about staying home, creating a safe place around you.” They go a little further to give specific examples. What I was referring to was more geared toward our main topic of interest: Real Estate. In real estate we have to decide what kind of property we want to live in and where we want it to be. What we can’t control is who are neighbors are or may end up being. I can see pros and cons to meeting your neighbors, but we as Americans probably couldn’t answer the question of what our neighbors’ first names are. Even if we can name one neighbor, how many of the houses on our street can we identify the owner of?
It was commonplace in the 60’s to know everyone in your neighborhood and for the people in the neighborhood to welcome the new neighbors with baked goods or small housewarming gifts. It was pretty common for holiday parties to be celebrated with the people of the neighborhood as well. We don’t see this quite as often nowadays. It was a strange sight to see when I visited my parents in South Carolina recently and they had made it a point to meet all of their proximal neighbors. They know everyone within 10 houses of them by name and they actually interact with most of them throughout the week. I will say in most of our defense, that my parents are retired and have a lot of free time. It did cause me to see that there are several advantages to not “cocooning” and keeping to yourself all the time. Having neighbors you know would be a great home security method. If a neighbor sees someone going in and out of a home, and they know the home owner, they would know whether something was wrong or not. So they would be far more likely to call the cops or the home owner if something was out of place. This could prevent a significant loss.
Not having to go out of or across town to celebrate a holiday is a great reason to get to know your neighbors. You aren’t going to drink and drive if you decide to celebrate the 4th of July right in front of your house with the other people in your neighborhood. And who is going to get your in trouble if you all come together and let off some fireworks? You can have a great celebration and invite your own family over to celebrate with everyone. Family can stay late or spend the night which helps everyone remain safer as well. The celebrations my parents have with their neighbors are always a good time and there is no stress of travel with it.
I can go on and name a bunch of reasons that knowing and befriending your neighbors is a good idea but I’m sure you get the point. There are a couple reasons that we probably cocoon. The main reason would be privacy. When you let your neighbors become a part of your life, you are allowing those people who are in close proximity to intimate details of your life. They see your interactions with your family. They know your schedule. They know your dogs (if you have any). These can all be security risks. Also, they can bring the drama of relationships that you have. My counter to the cons would be that you can always keep yourself secure with several state-of-the-art technologies and you shouldn’t be so unwilling to trust the people around you. Keep yourself safe and secure, give yourself peace of mind with a house alarm if that makes you feel better.
In conclusion, I would hope that we could start to do away with this act of cocooning. We should be willing to take the first step and go to the people’s houses on our streets and strike up meaningful conversations with them. We should invite our neighbors outside to sit down and watch the grass grow with a glass of iced tea. As corny as it all sounds, having a friendly relationship with the people in our neighborhood could enrich our lives and make our day-to-day grind more bearable. If you want to look at it from a more capitalist perspective, and you own a business of any kind, these could be potential customers or referrals. I didn’t even want to mention that part, but I wanted everyone that it pertains to, to keep that in mind. Giving out that positive energy causes good things to happen. I hope we all try a little harder