Every society is segregated. We all have vicinities in our cities and towns we consider the ‘dream place to live’ and the others we see as ‘notoriously not advisable.’ People from each type are expected to carry themselves about in a certain way; the former in an enviable civil way and the latter, well, they announce themselves from a good mile away.
First of all, I think what one describes as a good or bad neighborhood is subjective. The elites, middle and upper class people would prefer a quiet, spacious and clean neighborhood safe for family life. Fenced or gated, where everyone minded their own business and would come out to offer help for the communal good. Can you picture it?
Another group of people would prefer a more ‘open community’ where the doors of one’s home was open to all. Where kids were everyone’s responsibility and one’s headache was everyone’s business. Is that your type?
And I’m pretty sure the mental picture of a ‘bad’ neighborhood would not differ much regardless of one’s cultural background. A place reeking of bad influence everywhere. Profane language being spewed every second, lying and stealing being the most basic of vices practiced. Who would wish to live in such a horrid place? Most people find themselves there because of unfortunate circumstances and not because they chose it over better options.
As much as people pride themselves in their individual homes, the neighborhood also counts as well. One is accorded some respect depending on where he resides (or claims to be). In my home country, some of the places which stand out to would be East Legon, Cantonments, Ahodwo and some others (don’t know many of them). Some even go to the extent of lying about their residential address just to create an impression. Who cares if you live in a hut if it’s near a palace?
For me, I’d prefer to be in a good neighborhood even if my home is not up to the standard of the adjacent houses. As long as it ensures that I am safe from dangerous activities, I’m good. Having a house being described as the ‘best’ in a bad neighborhood is only an invitation to burglars to become regular guests to say the least. No one cares if you live in a skyscraper if it surrounded by brothels.
Some people like to stand out and be held in esteem by people they consider ‘beneath’ them. So they hang around just not to help them up but to lord it over them as being better. When it comes to choosing neighborhoods, it might be rare but people might surprise you with their values.
What about you? Do you prefer to be living in the ‘best’ house everyone points to in the midst of a bad neighborhood or the ‘humble pie’ in the midst of a good neighborhood, the one you cannot confidently point to and call it yours? Stand out among the worst or get lost among the best? Let me know what you think!