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Sunday, September 4, 2016


Realistically, we cannot choose all of our neighbours. In practise we don't choose any of the people who live next to us. We can choose a neighbourhood for its social class. Our economic means will be the guiding light, but the neighbourhood is made up of individuals.

A family moved into a house and within three months their next door neighbour moved away stating his reason as the fact that the people who had moved in were black.

The only thing that we can deduce from the black family is that they are black. We can  make the following fairly safe assumptions about the family who moved: they are white ignorant bigots who would add nothing to the lifestyle of anyone who had half a brain. They are people who consider themselves white supremists, whose principal emotion is hate. Rather than contributing anything to the white race they are seen as an embarrassment and are deemed to be white trash.

Perhaps the best situation is to simply have no real connection with the neighbours. If we are left alone to live our lives with consideration for those who live next door, but without any social interaction then there is no relationship to go wrong and complicate our existence. Sometimes the people next door seem to be nice and friendly but perhaps they have expectations of us, or vice versa. Should there be a disappointment in those expectations we then have to live with that.

Having said all that I remember growing up in a community of people who lived by a mutual code of caring and sharing. Our house was not lockable, and we children were subject to the same discipline everywhere within the community as we were at home. One day my mother fell ill and was unable to produce an evening meal for us. As if by magic one of the neighbours showed up with a full meal for us. How she even knew I have no idea because we didn't have a telephone.

If there was ever any bad blood between neighbours in our community I never heard of it. Human nature being what it is we could have expected something to go wrong, but our little world seemed to be idyllic.

So, neighbourhoods are potlucks. Once we choose the social level of living the rest becomes like a potluck draw. If you are living in a quiet and secure area with people who share respect and consideration for one another you are one of the very lucky ones. However, if you are finding yourself living in the jaws of hell I do sympathise with you. You need to win the lottery real big so that you can buy a house that you can surround with high walls so that you can create your own bubble.

If only we all had that choice.

Copyright (c) 2016
Eugene Carmichael