By Judy Berman
The wall between us. Are the barriers – emotional or physical – needed?
Robert Frost poses that philosophic question about the boundaries we set in his poem, “Mending Wall.” In it, two neighbors go thru the annual spring ritual of mending a wall between their properties.
As they work, it’s clear their relationship needs to be repaired.
One farmer questions the other’s notion that “good fences make good neighbors.”
There are no cows grazing in the fields. So, he wonders, just what are they “walling in or walling out?”
Is the wall built out of fear? Or is the barrier needed for self-preservation?
Whether it’s an individual or a country, either reason may be used to justify a barrier’s existence.
Some favor building a blockade to keep immigrants or refugees from entering their country.
Presidential hopeful, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas talked about building a wall between the United States and Canada. Others are urging for the same between the U.S. and Mexico.
Still others in Europe want to do the same to prevent an influx of folks fleeing their war-torn countries in search of a safe haven.
Such a wall has been erected before.
Communists began building the Berlin Wall in August 1961. The structure, nearly 100 miles long, completely cut off West Berlin from East Berlin and East Germany until it was opened on Nov. 9, 1989.
“At least 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall.”
“From 1961 until the wall came down in 1989, more than 5.000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot-air balloons, crawling through the sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds.” (history.com)
Demolition on the Berlin Wall began on June 13, 1990, and was completed in 1992.
Rather than throwing up walls, we need to find ways to build better relationships to ease our worries. That task might be difficult, but not impossible to overcome.
When we’re done, we might find that it’s healthier to tear down those barriers – whether it’s between neighbors in a community or those that divide us on planet Earth.
What are your thoughts? Do “good fences make good neighbors”? Or, what do we need to do to end the divisiveness?
Sept. 10th marks my fourth anniversary on WordPress. Thank you to all the friends I’ve met here, for your thoughtful and funny comments, and for your support. I especially want to thank my husband, Dave Berman, who has edited all my posts. Thanks, Honey.
Photo: Wall – Old abandoned mine in Allegheny Mountains forest, West Virginia. Taken May 2, 2009 by http://www.ForestWander.com https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Old-abandoned-mine-wv-forest_-_West_Virginia_-_ForestWander.jpg/640px-Old-abandoned-mine-wv-forest_-_West_Virginia_-_ForestWander.jpg
Photo: Wall – Carlisle stone wall, Massachusetts, taken Oct. 6, 2007 by Kristin of Somerville, Mass. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/2007_Carlisle_stone_wall_Massachusetts_1520579862.jpg/640px-2007_Carlisle_stone_wall_Massachusetts_1520579862.jpg
Photo: Wall – Berlin Wall – November 1989 by Yann (talk). https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/Berlin-wall.jpg/640px-Berlin-wall.jpg
Photo: Walls – Breaking Down the Walls https://www.facebook.com/GlobalTableAdventure/photos/a.309297250495.156742.301917530495/10153029519040496/?type=1&theater
Source for quote on the Berlin Wall: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall