Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The idea for this post comes from a friend in England.At first glance I thought it would be an easy post,after all what makes a good neighbor is oblivious. Or is it. It was once said that good fences make good neighbors. Now the assumptions from this saying is obvious,especially if you know were the saying comes from.When the west was being settled in America,a conflict arose between cattle ranchers and the farmers.The cattle were eating the farmerss.s crop,so to solve this problem the farmers erected fences to keep the cattle out.Thus were the ranchers and farmers were able to live peacefully side by side.So the assumption was you stay and do what you want on your side of the fence,and I'll do what I want on my side.simple,isn't it. Now if that's was all it took to be a good neighbor,wewould be home free,but were not.We must also take into consideration the historical concept of what a good neighbor means,which brings us to religion.
The biggest influence in the west on what it means to be good neighbor is of course Christianity,in the far east it is of course Buddhism. Christianity bases its view on two beliefs. The first one is to love thy neighbor,and the second one is based on the principals of the Ten Commandments.Briefly it means that one should offer one's neighbor any help that it is within one's power to give.It also means that one should ponsibletakeinto consideration the effect that ones decision about the use of ones property,will have on ones neighbors.An example of this would be if one had a tree who's branches might cause damage to the neighbor's house if they broke.Being a good neighbor would mean removing those branches that could damage the neighbors house. It does not mean that one has to remove a tree because leaves might fall on the neighbors property.After one can not be responsible for what wind might blow from ones property to another.Would one be responsible for trash that the wind blew onto your property and then blew on to one's neighbor property. Of course not. The same goes for what happens if birds perch upon one's tree. After all Nature happens.A good neighbor would shovel snow from the neighbors walk if they were unable to do so,the same goes for mowing the grass,for the same reasons.Boiled down,being a good neighbor means behaving in such a way as you would wish your neighbor would do for you. Unfortunately in this day an age of political correctness,and me-ism,some individuals have taken it to mean that they can dictate to their neighbors close and far how their neighbors should behave,and even believe.
To me personally,it means to make sure my chosen lifestyle impact as little as possible my neighbors peace and quiet and the enjoyment of their property.Reasonable accommodation is the key.But that is my belief, the question as always is what do you believe?That is as they say the question.Hope this post helps in deciding how to interact with ones neighbors.