Daily Archives: August 12, 2011

Texas Chainsaw Mass… er, Mass Kindness

Of the five freelance articles I’m working on this week, one of them is decidedly the most fun because it has led me to the kind of research I enjoy: Learning about what gives us a sense of well-being. And according to one Canadian think tank I read about, we’re happiest when we feel part of a group, like a social club or a small community.

That sense of belonging pays off when it comes to good turns. Need a lift to the store, a piece of advice, a cup of sugar? I’ve benefited from all three in my close-knit neighbourhood.

Most recently, I needed to get my hands on a chainsaw. Or rather, I needed someone else who was willing to wield a chainsaw while I provided freshly baked muffins, which is more my line.

Almost immediately after emailing a request to all the neighbours, I had five different offers of help. Turns out that within a tight radius of our house there’s a range of axes, saws, chainsaws, mini-chainsaws and nonspecific “manly tools” that could be applied to the job.

Makes you consider just a tiny bit what’s lurking under the mild façade of suburbia. Really, who needs so many sharp objects and why? (When I made this comment to my husband, he went on the defensive: “We have things to cut! We need hatchets and knives and saws – you’re making us sound weird!”) Mostly, though, I’m just grateful for belonging.

Enjoy the weekend! Mine’s kicking off with a few cocktails with almost a dozen friends in my above-mentioned close-knit neighbourhood. Let’s just hope they leave the power tools at home.