Mending Wall

Published: June 21, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
Image
Read More

“Man is free at the instant he wants to be.” – Voltaire

Looking up at the nation’s Capitol, two small children, a boy and girl, were standing at the bottom of the steps looking up, awed by the size and brilliance of the white building. Each began climbing the 365 steps to reach the top. When one had trouble, the other helped. When one stumbled, the other pulled them up. This went on for some time as it took the two some effort, but each was committed to their goal.

Standing at a window, two men watched, observant of the help each was giving the other. They watched as the two stood at the top and cheered at their accomplishment. The two men were attempting to reach an agreement that would secure help for many. However, each dug in, each vowing to unsettle the other. Inspired by the persistence of the children, the two were determined to find agreement as the wall of division between them dissolved into collaboration.

“Good fences make good neighbors,” Robert Frost wrote describing two neighbors separated by a stone wall in need of repair.

“But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

“He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.”

Two men stood in a window, each with his own opinion, his own disposition; each exchanging opinions, neither angry nor resentful, each respectful of the other, mending themselves as they go.

“Good fences make good neighbors.”

Comments

There are currently no comments. Why don't you kick things off?

Leave a Comment



Read More Articles
The Latest... And Sometimes Greatest
The New Christian Front
Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, The New York Times reported, told supporters at a recent rally. “My campaign has no place...
July 12, 2022
Hearts of Darkness
“It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.”–Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness “You back-stabbing son of a bitch. You go...
July 8, 2022
This House Divided
“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do...
July 4, 2022
Has America Lost Its Moral Compass?
In September 2009, I posted a commentary with that title with the following opening . . . “During an awards ceremony, a Rap star takes...
July 1, 2022
Who Are We?
In a Q&A session last month after a performance of the Broadway show Company, a woman in the audience was asked to put her mask...
June 28, 2022
The United States vs. Donald Trump
If Attorney General Merrick Garland is looking for grounds for bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump and his allies in their attempts to overthrow the...
June 24, 2022