Choosing your neighbors

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    you can not choose your

    relatives, they just “come with”

    like “soup or salad”

    the same holds true for

    your neighbors, they just “come with”

    the neighborhood – but,

    wouldn’t it be nice

    if we could choose our neighbors?

    know what I would do?

    I would carefully

    select only those who live

    by the Golden Rule,

    get your permission

    first, then park in your driveway,

    and maintain quiet

    on weekday evenings,

    save your mail, water your plants,

    keep an eye out for

    loitering strangers

    when you are on vacation,

    return borrowed things,

    keep your housekey for

    repairmen when you’re not home,

    shop when you are ill,

    listen to your gripes,

    donate to your charities . . .

    reciprocal things

    that you would do for

    them – in other words, neighbors

    just like you and me

    you say it’s too bland

    making a neighborhood that

    homogeneous

    where’s the spark, the fire

    the differing points of view

    that forge consensus?

    the raw exchange of

    honestly held ideas

    other than your own?

    the interactions

    between divergent cultures

    that help all to grow?

    sharing holiday

    traditions with each other

    eating ethnic foods?

    taking lots of Tums

    supporting a good cause at

    neighborhood picnics?

    maybe you are right

    there is a lot to be said

    for diversity

    the melting pot made

    our country unique among

    all other nations

    I think I’ll accept

    my neighbors, warts and all, and

    teach them how to be

    the perfect neighbor

    by setting an example,

    I owe them that much

    Ray Singer