Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On Being Neighborly

Years ago there was a family in the neighborhood that were really perplexing to the rest of us. They’d let their kids wander into the yard, where they’d play on the swing set, or tramp through the flowerbeds and leave trash in the yard. Their dog, for some reason, thought everyone else’s yard were much nicer places to relieve itself.

The couple was as nice as pie.
They’d cook meals and bring them over when someone got sick, and were always cooing over a new baby, congratulating job promotions. Salt of the earth, they were, but they allowed their kids and pets to roam free in the neighborhood.

Finally, a neighbor got fed up, and erected a stout fence along the property line. No more poop in the yard, no more ruined flower beds, no more litter to be picked up. And for a while, no desserts or friendly waves.

But as the neighborhood began to adjust to the new fence, an amazing thing happened to this family: their kids became more respectful of the other neighbors’ property. The dog was let out only on a leash…and a new, healthier relationship evolved. Things actually got a little better.

Robert Frost once observed that “strong fences make good neighbors.” This week, Mexico is pleading with President George W. Bush to veto the Senate’s proposal for a fence to be constructed along the US border with Mexico.
The fence would keep out illegal aliens, and allow the US to have more precise control of who can or cannot enter the country.

President Vicente Fox says the decision "hurts bilateral relations, goes against the spirit of cooperation needed to guarantee security on the common border, and creates a climate of tension in border communities."

No, El Presidente, what it does is forces the Mexican government to curb the kids, leash the dog, and be a bit more responsible for your own. Meanwhile, we’re going to clean up the litter, plant some new shrubs, and bake a pie.

Want some? I’ll meet you at the back fence.

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