Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Line In The Sand

It has been said that good fences make good neighbors. While there may be a modicum of truth to that phrase, it has been proven that a strong, collaborative community bears much sweeter fruit than an isolationist mentality. I maintain that the latter is true, but only to a greater degree than the former, rather in contrast thereto. Both have their merits if practiced properly. Likewise, neither works well exclusively.

Boundaries have been the nature of man since time began, but cooperation has always been their companion. We have always felt more comfortable in our own personal domiciles, but eager to wander out into the community to interact with our neighbors when the need or desire arose. Everywhere in-between the dwellings of those who gathered for either productive or leisurely purposes was considered common ground. What America has succeeded in nurturing in her people was a comfort level in these regards based on a mutual understanding of our land. In other words, we felt completely at ease in a pseudo-neutral setting solely because, while it was conducted in "common land", the very definition of the phrase was universally understood; we were Americans.

The previous century for America saw an unprecedented influx to a particular country. To be simple, this was the place to be. One would expect nothing short of chaos in such a situation, but that did not happen. What did happen was that all of these new arrivals cared for nothing more than to embrace America's culture and to blend in as quickly as possible. Our culture was enthusiastically adopted, our language was studied and self-enforced, and our laws were embraced and obeyed. Of particular note: at that time, there was no DHS, as there was no need for it. People came here for a better life and they actually wanted to become Americans.

So what has happened since? Why do we have such tumultuousness? The answer is not simple. The recent revocation of the Labor Day Holiday at a Tyson Foods plant in Shelbyville, TN in favor of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr is cause for concern. It is a clear case of the invited guests suddenly rearranging the furniture in the home of their gracious hosts. Long before we became too timid to risk insulting our guests, there was a time when we would have made it clear who owned the home, and who set the rules therein.

It has been a tried and true practice of civilized peoples to draw a line in the sand, indicating phantom fences before we envisioned their actual construction. It has served well as a civilian law-enforcement technique. It was a mark one crossed at their own peril, and it was a cognitive act either way the decision went. Now, however, it seems that the line has been drawn in the sand at the shoreline of America, and no one has been minding the tide, which has washed away that line without cognizance of any sort.

It may ultimately fall to me and me alone, but someone needs to get down to the beach and maintain the line. If not, we may find ourselves homeless in the world.


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Anonymous said...

Very well said

Anonymous said...

Remember it was the Irish, Scots, French, Spainish who went to a continent they were not welcome at and in the process those a others tried to exterminate a race of people. Then those same people starting importing other races to be their slaves.
Now, though I TOTALLY disagree with any terrorists who try to inflict hurt or deaths it was my forefathers, who committed those acts described above. Terrorism does not belong on anywhere on the face of God's earth. Not all who practice one's particular faith are terrorists. If it were so many of my Christian brothers would be guilty of such. Not all who call themselves Muslim are terrorists and nor are some Christians who practice them such. Let's not condem every Muslim, Christian or Jew because of the acts of a few on this planet of over 6,000,000,000.OK