Democracy is not just an election, it is our daily life.
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Can Borrowing from Neighbors Strengthen Democracy?

Can Borrowing from Neighbors Strengthen Democracy?

May 11, 2019--
In the course of our daily lives, we may find abundant evidence that our social fabric has frayed. As Robert Putnam discussed in his 2000 book Bowling Alone, Americans have become increasingly isolated, drifting away from activities that stimulate civic engagement. Could the casual connection created through borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor help restore the sense of community needed to strengthen our democracy? While that notion may seem far-fetched, the act of borrowing creates opportunities to engage, connect and relate to people in our communities. Research has shown that even those who are initially reluctant to reach out to their neighbors are much happier when they do. In addition to improving well-being, building social capital through neighborly interaction can help to establish the habits of cooperation and reciprocity that underpin a healthy democracy. (2170 reads)


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Think of ways in which you can help to create a culture of social responsibility by building a sharing network in your community. A friendly hello and casual chat can be the seeds that blossom into a community garden, a tool swap, a ride share or a citizens climate action group.



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