• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • January 26, 2017 in Columnists

    We love our neighbors — don’t we?

    Have you ever done something so wrong that it troubled you every day since you did it? I think most of us probably have. Into us all a little guilt must creep.

    I’m getting older now and when I think back through the years, I can remember every misdeed I’ve ever done. Misdeeds gnaw at you from the inside out and will not let you have the peaceful rest that the innocent enjoy.

    Misdeeds come in many forms and sizes. They range from something as bad as murder all the way down to something as simple as an insult that you know was uncalled for. Most people, like me, know in advance that what you are about to do is a misdeed because something inside tells you, “Don’t do this” or “I’m going to regret this” or “This is going to come back to me a hundred-fold!” Then comes the, “Why did I do that — it was so stupid.”

    Well I’m getting that familiar feeling again and I know that something I (or we) am going to do will be regretted for as long as I live. The feeling is unmistakable. You can see it and feel it long before it actually gets done. It’s sad but usually there is no stopping a misdeed once it is conceived, planned, and taken into its motions.

    I’ll explain: One definition of happiness is — a good neighbor. Aren’t neighbors great? If I could go through life just dealing with my neighbors, and no one else, I would be so happy all the time. I absolutely love my neighbors, and for that I am so grateful. My wife Therese feels the same way. Good neighbors are at the root of what makes a house a home.

    Now that I’ve said that, I don’t want to leave you hanging so I have to tell you about them. Jose and Lucia live in the little house just over the fence. Every time I see them, they make me smile. It’s easy for me to see that together they are happy in their affection for each other and everybody around them. Friendliness comes natural for them.

    Jose is a little older than I am, but he’s in better shape physically. He’s a good-looking guy and that explains his beautiful wife. Beauty seems to gather with beauty. He is a man’s man, very polite and soft-spoken. He is retired now, but I know he has worked hard all of his life and now he doesn’t know how to slow down. I worry about him sometimes because he works so hard at everything he does but is never so busy that he doesn’t have time to lend a helping hand or a simple greeting of friendship to anyone he might meet.

    Everywhere he goes in our little town, he can find a friend that is genuinely happy to see him. I see him around town, always socializing with a group of men he’s probably known for years. I see that he likes them and in return, they like him. Their relationship always seems natural and easygoing. Sometimes they sit on one of the benches around town and discuss everything under the sun. They sit with the look of comfort on their faces. I like that.

    Jose’s wife, Lucia, has to be the best cook in town. Her tamales are to die for! No one that I know could ever deny the fact that a great amount of affection for each other is shared by the cute little Mexican American couple. I still can’t believe how lucky I am that they live next door. They are so cute together. Lucia is a lovely woman, a real Latin beauty, so full of grace.

    Their house is always in perfect order, all trimmed and proper. Their lawn is always perfect and I know they have to be concerned that my weeds will spill over into their side of the yard. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to put up a wall between my place and theirs. Yes, when it comes to neighbors, ours are the best.

    When I speak of walls, it’s in jest. I would never build a wall to keep my dear neighbors out, but that’s exactly what is being done. It’s so hard for me to understand how our government wants to build a wall along the Mexican border. Mexico is our neighbor — a very dear neighbor. We only have two, and now we want to wall one of them out?

    Recently, President Donald Trump showed the entire world exactly what an ass he really is. He slings insults at our neighbors like he is the almighty God above. I am appalled and I have to wonder where this comes from.

    Everything Trump says about our neighbors to the south is an insult. I don’t want to repeat them, but words like these do not come from God. Donald Trump is a very scary man and I worry about the fact that he’s not alone in his evil ways.

    Thus comes the feeling that we are about to commit a misdeed. The way he describes our southern neighbors is not borne in reality at all. Doesn’t Mr. Trump realize that we are all one people upon this Earth and none are better or worse than the other? It’s obvious that the underlying reason for this wall is, with the slowing down of our foreign wars, lucrative government contracts will arise out of a 1,000-mile long wall that costs an estimated $25 billion when all is said and done.

    That’s a lot of zeros for a misdeed that we could all regret for the rest of our lives.

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