Friday, August 15, 2008
Kiss And Made Up
The latest on the feuding neighbors is that the offending neighbor "kiss and made up" with the neighbor he offended. To be honest, I doubt his sincerity but I hope he backs off now and keeps a low profile. There is no need in this community, no matter what our differences, for cursing and name calling and showing disrespect to our fellow neighbors. Neighborhoods after all are just a microcosm of the world in general that we, as neighbors should do everything in our power to get along with one another despite our differences. We will always have differences, that is the nature of homo sapiens. After all, that is what makes life and living so interesting. Unfortunately, it is the extremes of human emotion and activity that sometimes makes life so miserable. Not that I'm an expert on this subject, but I do have some knowledge after 66 years of dwelling on this earth and my interactions with my fellow human beings. I have found that no one is 100% bad or 100% good. We all have degrees of goodness and evil in us. Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances bring out the worst in us. Other times circumstances bring out the best in us. However, there are those time when mental illness is a factor. It goes without saying that those circumstances and people are the most difficult to deal with. I previously lived in Pennsylvania in a beautiful home that I had built on the side of a hill. As beautiful and comfortable as that home was, it soon turned into a nightmare when new neighbors subdivided the land next to my 7 acres and built their home. The wife was homophobic and, once settled in, she soon made my partner and my life miserable by her constant threats, taunts, harassment, and spreading false rumors with the other neighbors all in an effort to get us to move so she could have a "family" neighborhood. My partner and I endured that nightmare for about four years until the situation finally came to an abrupt climax when she went to the local police chief and demanded that he arrest us because we were "gaywads" (her term). He patiently explained to her that he could not arrest us unless we were doing something illegal. She said "They're perverts, isn't that illegal?" The police chief soon lost his patience and threw her out of his office and told her not to return again wasting his time. From that moment on there was no more harassment from this neighbor. She "tolerated" us. While the taunts, threats and vicious rumors had stopped, the neighborhood still was unfriendly. We never felt comfortable again. Thus it was with great relief when she finally sold her house and moved to Boca Raton, Florida and, hopefully for her, a "nicer" neighborhood. A few years later my partner and I decided to move to Delaware to escape the rapidly increasing confiscatory Pennsylvania school taxes. The neighborhood in which we live now is very diverse. There are four gay couples (two male, two female), retired couples, minorities (African American, Asian and an English couple), second home homeowners who spend part of the year here, and even a native Sussex County couple (who live next door to us) who just had a baby. Up until last week I never personally heard a derogatory term applied to any neighbor. How ironic that the first derogatory term would come from a gay man, who should know better. He now claims he doesn't remember saying it. Perhaps he doesn't, he was that angry. Hopefully he has learned his lesson that nothing is to be gained by throwing out hurtful names just to make his point. We can have our differences but let us resolve them in a mutually respectful manner. In other words, apply the Gold Rule. Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated. Live in peace. Life is to short to do otherwise.