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 ourselves, appreciate simple friendly gestures, being treated with kindness that will better our lives. It requires us to reimagine our daily interactions and how we care for one another.
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 took the first step to reach out to their neighbours. 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.
I’m in a room full of people, yet I feel alone. Ghosts from childhood days constantly haunt me. Those dark days with merciless bullying and beating. The reason? Being overweight. For this, I put up with constant teasing and abuse. Other kids around me just watched on. I, alone, was powerless to stop this evil. Those days broke me. Before I knew it, a new battle ensued. I felt like I was falling through a deep, dark hole that was never-ending. I stretched out my hands to grip onto something, but only emptiness greeted me. I continued falling. This emptiness took over me and pushed others out of my life. I felt like others were criticising me all the time, and even my loved ones didn’t want me. I had nowhere to run, yet there was no clear enemy to fight against. I felt alone Over time, I realised that other than my own family, no one acknowledges my struggle. In our society, it is shameful to discuss this state I’m in. You are likely to receive a remark such as “jangan malukan keluarga” (don’t be a disgrace to your family). Yet, I refused to give up. I continue to fight. I could feel deep inside that one day, I would be able to walk amongst people again. I strive to make the best out of each day by extending my hand to those in need. I want them to know that someone cares, and they are not alone. One day, I hope to see a Malaysia where someone’s opinion doesn’t outweigh the value of another person’s life.