In his 1914 poem Mending Wall, Robert Frost made significant use of the old proverb, good fences make good neighbors. In the poem, a narrator explains that “something there is that doesn’t love a wall” and this something tears down a sturdy stone wall that separates the narrator’s property from the neighbor’s. So each year, the narrator and the neighbor meet on an appointed day to “walk the line and set the line between us one again”, the neighbor often reciting the ancient wisdom. Good fences make good neighbors. Meanwhile, the narrator wants to suggest the mischievous force that is tearing down the wall is “elves” but would prefer for the neighbor to say so.
It’s a lovely poem which aptly reminds the reader how to keep one’s metaphorical apple’s from eating-up someone else’s metaphorical pine cones .
In Canada, there is a new Facebook chat group named Secular Wall with an interest to walk the line and mend the wall. The group states that it wishes to “connect all Canadians opposed to the discriminatory and wasteful public funding of religious schools (especially in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario) plus healthcare institutions. Secular Wall members support every citizen’s undisputed RIGHT to worship however they please … with the corresponding RESPONSIBILITY to fully fund their own beliefs.“
The organizers of Secular Wall seem to have staked-out familiar, but necessary, territory. Just as there are many individuals who would prefer not to have all their pine cones eaten-up by the neighbor’s apples – there are also plenty of apple-growers who would like to keep their apples from tasting of pine. A bit of annual wall mending is indeed a good thing.
After all, the really does seem to be a great deal of elf-activity from year to year and the walls won’t mend themselves.
The group has a stated zero tolerance for hate speech or profanity, which suggests that dialogue may maintain a level of dignity and respect despite a topic likely to bring out deep-seated values, perspectives and opinions.
If you have an interest in the integrity of your own domain, you may want to join the conversation.
Citations, References And Other Reading
- Featured Photo Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/groups/secularwall/
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