As an adult now living in an urban apartment building, I think back fondly but realistically to my childhood and the neighbors we had. We knew them almost as well as we knew our cousins. And they knew us. There was communication among them, just as there was among the kids. We wanted the best for each other which didn't mean there weren't disagreements and occasional feuds. The adults taught us to be considerate and respectful of each other. Loud noise after bedtime? It'd only happen once because the police would arrive and issue a citation for disturbing the peace. If my parents weren't home when I arrived after school, I could go to any of the nearest neighbors to wait for them if I wanted (I usually just played outdoors). Neighbors picked up newspapers and mail for a family who'd gone on vacation and watched their house to make certain it remained secure. Were people just nicer to each other back then? I don't know, really, although it does seem so.
In the last few weeks, there's been a lot of loud noise after 10 p.m. in the building where I live. Someone actually posted a note in the front foyer about it, asking everyone in the building to be considerate and respect their neighbors who had to get up really early to go to work. I kept thinking, gosh, isn't it amazing that it even has to be said. To me being considerate and respectful is a given. But I guess there are people now who haven't been brought up to be considerate and respectful of others, to be aware of how their actions affect the people around them, or even that apartments are NOT soundproof no matter what they were told when they signed the lease. And people in apartment buildings no longer cultivate relationships with their neighbors, even if it's only to do each other favors like picking up mail when on vacation. (Mail? I still receive a lot of mail but I can imagine much younger people who don't.)
|Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)|
American presidents have worked to cultivate a good relationship with our neighbors. In the past, there have been disagreements, even wars, but we have survived as neighbors. If we want them to be good neighbors to us, then we need to be good neighbors to them. It pains me deeply the way President Trump talks about Mexico, Mexicans, and tries to bully their President. I've noticed that he hasn't done the same with Canada which does make me wonder. If nothing else, Trump is an equal opportunity abuser. He is not a good neighbor. (Although I can hear him now: What da ya mean, I'm not a good neighbor? I'm the best, the greatest neighbor you've ever seen!)
Will Mexico and Canada decide that they no longer want to be wonderful neighbors to us? America and Americans would be stupid to lose our good neighbors. Especially when they can help protect us against terrorists. How? By the way they protect themselves against terrorists.
We share the same continent. We are all in this together.