A few points… though they are by no means comprehensive.
Vinson Ryan Nash
72

Vinson, is a bigotry against religious ‘Mericans showing? At the risk of seeming “preachy,” you might want to consider if you’ve helped create part of the wall between you and the religious folks you seem to demean—a wall that might be preventing you from joining a group with which you otherwise seem to share agreement.

What you describe as “religiosity” and Republican “pandering” could rather be seen as a legitimate political agenda that accommodates the sensibilities of a very large voting block of citizens who care for their country, share similar views of the “way things ought to be,” and who vote!

When evaluating a wall it’s helpful to consider what, if any, role you’ve had in it being built, but more importantly, to remember that bridges can be built from either side of a divide.

I submit for your consideration a simple story that in a small way illustrates the principle for me: My new next door neighbor recently put up a fence and painted it rust-red. It’s very ugly. I hate it. But I understand his reason for the fence. He has dogs, so I forgive him for his ugly fence, and still talk to him over it. His fence divides us in some ways but unites us in others. We are BOTH thankful his dogs can run free in their OWN yard.

That’s not all. When installing the fence, his contractor rolled some very large logs off the property line into my yard to order to install the fence. My initial reaction was to raise a stink with him and the contractor; but as I considered it, I realized, I had inherited the property line complete with logs installed — and so did he. Although I’ve been in my home slightly longer than he, we are both newer to the neighborhood, and neither one knows which former property owner originally placed the logs. (May be a “tree detective” could investigate and figure it out and assign responsibility, but I digress.)

My point is this: sometime walls (or fences) are built for legitimate reasons and sometimes when walls are built we inherit problems we didn’t create but still suffer from the consequences. We have to decide what to do about the consequences but hardening yourself against your neighbor is rarely a winning strategy if you want to live in peace with him.

If you care to know, I decided to live with the logs on my property for now and haven’t let it be important enough to mention. May be some day we’ll figure out a plan to get rid of them together, or may be I’ll get chippy and just take care of them myself. In the meantime, I mowed his yard to show him neighborly love and to remind myself that it takes personal effort to truly show it.

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