Sometimes “community” can seem like a big word, but building it starts with the smallest of actions.
“If you talk about community within the neighbourhood. We may not have a strong one. Because yet we cant blame anyone, because that is what life is like in the city. Time is all committed to work. Even when we enter the lift, we stand next to each other be we are just staring at our phones. Sometimes, all it takes is to just look up and smile – the day already starts better. But it takes two to build relationships. We have to let others know that they can count on us if they ever need help. Knowing that others think of you and look out for you will really give you that sense of belonging. It’s the first step to building a community.”
“I’ve been living here here for about 2 years. For a long time, I had no idea who my neighbours were. It was just like going to a hotel – just checking in and checking out every day. But after you meet face to face, things feel different. It’s as if we already know each other so much more. It finally started to feel like I had neighbours and that I was’t alone after all.”
“Most people nowadays like privacy. We live in high-rise buildings just a door away from each other but we prefer to just be left alone. I think we forget that at the end of the day, the thing that builds the neighbourhood is the people.”
In this increasingly fast-paced society it is easy to forget that we are surrounded by people, who like us, appreciate simple friendly gestures, being treated with kindness that will better our daily lives. Building relationships goes a long way, and for the residents of Boulevard Residence, it is a necessary step for the creation of a sense of belonging among themselves. With a small effort from each of the residents, they came together to begin a community, to make their homes a better place to live in, and ultimately, to care for the people who are in the closest physical proximity to them in their everyday lives.
Phone calls to Nepal are expensive. That is why I leave my family missed calls. It doesn’t matter if my voice doesn’t reach them. With that missed call, they will know that I’m thinking of them. This is my tenth year in Malaysia. Before that, I was in Qatar working on skyscrapers. Now, I work off the land. Instead of scaffolding, I can plant things again. It brings me back to the rice fields back home in Nepal. It reminds me that I have a family waiting for me. I’m most happy when watering the plants. To me, a harvest is one of the most fulfilling things in life. When my plants flourish, I feel proud. It makes me feel that I’m part of an important process. Life, too, is like a plant. With time and love, your efforts will bloom. Being away from home is not easy. But as the sole breadwinner, I’m happy to work hard for my family. My dream is to open a shop on my own land. To others, it may be a small dream. But for me and my family, it is everything.