Why living in a bad neighbourhood could be good for you
I live in Mount Druitt, widely considered to be one of the worst areas to live in Sydney.
Now why is Mt. Druitt such a terrible place?
Is it because you’re looked down on once they find out where you’re from, by the rest of Sydney? Or is it because your colleagues and acquaintances will immediately judge you differently, once they know where you’re from? Even employers count it against you, if they notice it on your application.
Maybe it’s because living here is so dangerous? You can be accosted anywhere there’s a nearby ATM machine, at the train station, even in front of your school as you’re leaving (happened to several of my high school friends a few years back).
Maybe it’s that your car / bins / front yard, gets egged (or sometimes set on fire) if you’re careless or somehow piss someone off in your street. My house was egged because my husband glared at someone while driving one day, and there were also fires frequently in our neighbourhood.
But these things are trivial right?
Well we also have drunks on the street, drug pushers and sometimes we even get public shootings. And don’t get me started on the stuff that actually gets reported on the news! Massive brawls with weapons at the train station, teachers taking hidden photos of children changing (my daughter’s 4th grade teacher — yes seriously!). Someone going on a tank rampage (even I had a hard time believing this one when I first heard about it). I won’t mention the heart-breaking headlines, because they’re too painful to write about.
So how could living in a place like this possibly be good?
It’s so simple, you might have guessed it already. It’s the determination and inspiration you grow from seeing all of this on a daily basis.
These traits have the potential to push you in two directions. One is to make something of yourself and get out (many of my friends chose this route).
The other is the resolution to change your environment into a better one. This is my preferred choice (and yes, I do still live here).
I am a firm believer that we all should find ways to leave this world a better place than we entered it.
There are so many ways to do this. We can donate time and money to worthy causes (consider paying double when you buy something from charity shops). We can choose to purchase local produce from nearby farms (yes there are still a lot of them in this area). We can go green by using energy efficient lighting and appliances in our homes.
And we can even make a difference by simply showing kindness to those around us. Research says that smiling at strangers helps people feel more connected. The psychological pain of feeling alone and socially rejected leads to serious antisocial behaviour (which is one of the things we are trying to change in the area we live in).
One of the ways I’m trying to make the world a better place is with QuickStriker
QuickStriker is an app I’ve created to help communities connect.
In simplest terms, it’s a community bulletin board where anyone can pin what ever they want to announce to those around them. Whether they’re organising a charity drive, selling their old television set, or that they’re willing to wash cars on their street this weekend.
One of the best things about the app is that it is in map form, so you can see everything that is happening within a few streets of you. How great would it be to be able to exchange vegetables and fruit from your garden with your neighbour’s, instead of having to buy it at woolies?
You can also add photos to your post, send messages to each other, share items on social media and save items to a watch list.
I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in early January to raise funds for my app to help with server costs, advertising, as well as research and development to create an android version (the iOS version is complete and will be published in February).
If the Kickstarter is successful, I’m going to make daily posts free so that it is accessible to everyone.
It would be great if you could support my Kickstarter, and it would be a huge help if you would consider sharing this post and spreading the word.
Thank you so much for reading!