Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Loving Thy Neighbor


"Love Your Neighbor As Yourself....but don't take down the fence"..........Poet Carl Sandburg.
When I first moved into this home I had no back yard fence. It made for interesting moments. I could stand at my kitchen window, making my first cup of coffee, and stare into the kitchen window of my neighbor, and watch her making coffee. Or when I sat on my backyard patio, and read a book, if a neighbor emerged from his home we would exchange the obligatory wave that two kindly people exchange when first seeing each other.
And, should I care to, I could sit in my easy chair and watch cars passing, or people walking by, over on the road behind me. Or on those holidays when little children are about, I've seen young tow heads "go out for a long one" and catch the football yards deep into my back yard. All of those things, sans fence, were delightful things, as I watched the world go by from my own back porch.
But of course there were drawbacks to my quarter acre without fence. Each time I planted a vegetable, or a planter of flowers, or a decorative bush, the rabbits would come and chew them all to extinction. Or the coyotes, pursuing the rabbits, would wander through my yard...and I would have to keep my small doggies inside until the coyotes were gone.
And so, in order to preserve and protect the things I loved, I had to build a fence. None of my neighbors objected to that fence....they recognized my right to do so.
Alas, there are people in America today who believe fences are "racist"....that they imply that I am selfish...that I am hoarding something that, by some undefined right, should belong to everyone. 
I am not selfish. I simply want those who come in the front knock, or ring my doorbell, and allow me to decide whether or not I invite them in. I would be quite offended if anyone barged into my home, demanded a meal and a cup of coffee and a bed, insisting that it was his right to do so. An "invite" is an open arms welcoming; a sharing of what I have....a forceful entry through my door is an invasion. The two will never be the same, no matter how you dress the two in similar robes.
"love thy neighbor as thyself....but build the fence...and keep it up." And never take it down until you understand why it was there in the first place. Doors and gates are more endearing if you hope to have good neighbors.



Jerry Carlin said...

Yep, even if the World were a nicer place I like my fence. I see it as a boundary, a marker of where my control over the World, the politics, the environment, ends. It marks the space where I have a say and the only place where my opinion really matters. I also see my fence as a framework, like a frame around a painting and within it is my art, what I do. The same as you, I can invite people in, or not. The fence marks the limit of this little island, my oasis in this mad World.

A Modest Scribler said...

Jerry, shortly after this was written I read that southern California illegal Mexicans and open borders advocates are making plans to do everything they can to disrupt the construction of Trump's wall. They argue it's racist and offensive to our Mexican friends. Accordingly, Homeland Security has had to revise their bidding process to include the requirement that all construction firms come up with contingency plans on how to deal with fence protestors. Sad. Damned Sad.

Carol said...

I like this well written blog. I agree 100%. Even those who oppose 'the fence', have built huge fences around their homes to protect themselves and their families. Hmmmmmm........

A Modest Scribler said...

Thank you, Carol. Yes, there's lots of hypocrisy among the liberal set.