How do good fences make good neighbors?
Fences are everywhere and to understand their relevance, the easiest way is to understand how they are relevant to the lives of people living on both sides of these fences. You and your brother live under the same roof till they are grown up. Then they buy two houses side by side. It is up to you and your brother that whether they raise a fence between them or not. However, if it is someone else than your brother, you raise a fence because you do not want someone peeping into your house and your courtyard. A fence does not always mark a division between you and your neighbor but it can bring you two closer. Sometimes it creates the necessary distance that keeps human bonds intact.
Fences do not blind you to what is happening on the other side but give each one living on each side the necessary privacy to live in peace. This way people value each other’s personal space. Fences do not mark only physical space. What do good neighbors do? They do not intrude into each others’ personal space. Fences do not mark distance or wastage of space but instead give you a feeling of security and privacy. Respecting each others’ boundary is both a sign of solidarity and respect. It does not mean confinement. Two families that have to live together and side by side must first learn to value each others’ space. When you do not litter in others’ space and honor their authority over their personal space, it is respectable. So, fences do not confine freedom. They tell you to respect others’ freedom and create a sense of civilization. Human habitat includes several such fences and signs. These fences and signs are created not to mark limits of physical space but to guide us over how we are expected to behave within their confines.
A better neighbor will never try to peep over the wall into your yard. However, we all are not lucky in this regard. We may come across bad neighbors used to peeping over the walls always trying to learn what is happening on the other side. Sometimes these fences are visible like a wall separating your house from your neighbors’. Sometimes there are other lines not clearly drawn, you must not cross. There are a thousand things so personal in your life that you would not want others’ watching or stealing. To hide them you erect fences. So, you must be a good neighbor and not cross over the fence if your neighbor does not like it. Fences in this way establish peace and mark necessary authority over each one’s personal space. Respecting the fence between you and your neighbor is like respecting each others’ authority over his personal life.