'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

There is, currently, a trend in world politics to think of drawing in the boundaries, to become singular and 'great' again. Can there be greatness in isolation?

There is an adage that 'good fences make good neighbours'. A phrase coined by Robert Frost in his poem, 'Mending Wall'; but he questions the purpose, for it is not himself who has said the thing, but the neighbour with whom he is doing the mending. He questions...

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 offence.
    Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
    That wants it down...

I like to think that in Frost's heart and mind, a flower border would serve a similar purpose. A demarcation of territory yet soft and welcoming nonetheless.

Are not the walls we build among ourselves akin to the barbs upon the 'crown' placed upon Yeshu's head, the nails driven into his limbs, creating wounds where wounds need not be? The more we demarcate and state ownership, declare rights, the less happy we become and the more we stamp our feet and demand greater rights and stronger barriers and so it is we wind into ourselves.

Those who reach out, who unwind, make doors and open them, they will find their hearts warming, softening, swelling. A joy comes from flowers that can never come from stone. Both can have beauty, no doubt. But one shall ever be unyielding, the other soft and renewing.

Appropriate boundaries are those which allow for difference even as they protect the familiar. They do not blind or separate us, even as they protect us.

To have appropriate boundaries we, of course, must know who we are and be secure in that, but we will also be keen on learning who others are and what it is we can share. Appropriate boundaries allow for the presence of common ground and understand neutrality, without seeking to lay claim to it.

Good neighbours know how to reach across and enquire as to one's health and well-being without interfering or domineering. Good neighbours know how to say "you're stuck with something? How can I help?" - and be willing to give that help without expectation of gain. Good neighbours know how to sit on the porch and watch the 'hood and know that if in need, there's always someone around to do their bit.

If I can't see you, and you can't see me how shall we know and show our neighbourliness?


  1. A wise post as always YaYa!!
    Being neighborly used to be the norm....now many of us don't even know our neighbors.
    All goes back to front porches when everyone sat outside in good weather, or delivered a baked good to a new neighbor.
    Hugs HiC

  2. Thanks for another thoughtful Sunday post. Having once owned a London flat with an exceptionally difficult person living below, I never cease to be grateful for the friendly neighbourliness of those living around me now on my street in Aberdeen.
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Very well stated. Neighborhoods are not the same any more. Growing up, our family knew everyone on our street and even the neighboring streets. Today we are lucky if we see our neighbors long enough to wave as they go in and out their garages in their closed up cars. We walk the neighborhood almost daily, and it is a rare treat when we actually can share more than a simple hello - there is rarely anyone out:(

  4. isolation as far as I can see real never acomplished any thing.
    Coffee is on

  5. I had a neighbor, a talented young woman, active in her church, singing in the choir who was raped and beaten to death by an illegal immigrant who broke into her apartment late one night. That sort of changed my views as to who is allowed unchecked into our country. I'm all for legal immigration, as my grandparents came to this country from a downtrodden land, arriving here not welcome, but they made it their home and were proud to fly its flag. There should be some compassionate middle ground in the rhetoric I think.

  6. in our life a fence is a good thing, it protects children from our pool, keeps our dogs safe from the street. a fence can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where and why it is there. the fence our president is thinking of is absolutely crazy. but it seems half our country don't agree with me

  7. Having crossed fences (well, borders) several times now, I have found that in effect, there is not much difference between the neighbours. Yes, they might like different foods and listen to different music and do all sorts of things different, but the basics are always the same: a safe environment to live, work and grow. Make sure the children are doing fine and that everybody is looked after. Regardless of what house/state/country you live in.

    Putting a fence up can help with preventing trouble, but let's keep those fences permeable and crossable. So that those without trouble in mind, can come and be our neighbours.

  8. Hello, what a great post. Flower borders are a pretty sight than a wall. We only had a fence to keep our dog safe. I am against # 45's wall. Have a happy day!

  9. Hmm, you remind me of the "wall" that the current US "president" wants to build. Why not know our neighbors rather than try to wall them out? We might learn something.

    I love the flowers in the boots. What a whimsical idea!

  10. Excellent post! Yeah flowers! Boo Walls!

  11. We must be neighbors to have neighbors, me thinks. namaste, janice xx


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