I built a huge wall.  It was built out of brick.  It was menacing, looming.  I built it to prevent bad people form coming over. When ever they were near me, close to me, they would hurt me.  So I kicked them out and built a wall. 

Unfortunately, it kept out everyone.  It was a really good wall.  “Good,” as in it was serving its purpose perfectly.  Eventually, I was left with very few people on my side of the wall.  It got lonely. So I considered what would happen if I tore the wall down. 

Well, that would be just terrible!  I’d be right back where I started, with everyone just walking around hurting me. So if that was to be avoided, I needed a new solution. 

Maybe if I replaced the wall with something that only let the good people in, but not the bad people.  Like a VISA program.  I could vet them, and if they met my criteria they could come across.  But if some people could come across, how could I prevent the bad ones from sneaking across too?  Maybe build a door in the wall with a guard?  But I would have to trust that guard with my life, for indeed she would have my life in her hands, and she’d have to be stronger than everyone else.  And the two of us would need constant communication and clarification.  That would require too much effort;  I’d spend more time deciding who gets to come in and out than appreciating the ones who came over. 

What if I built some sort of screen wall, where only those who met a very narrow criteria could come through automatically, and everyone else would need to be vetted?  I’d probably solve the problem of the bad ones sneaking in, but it would still take too much effort to vet everyone else.  I could just deny everyone who didn’t make it through the screen, but then what if there were good people who just didn’t fit my narrow criteria? I’d be leaving them behind.

My best solution at the moment is to replace the wall with a much more generous screen, allowing a much broader type of person to cross.  Yes, some bad people would get in, but the worst people wouldn’t be able to get through the screen. This would also allow many different types of people in. Simultaneously, I would build smaller walls surrounding the more vulnerable parts of my side of the wall-turned-screen, each wall equipped with a door and a guard.  The walls wouldn’t have to be so menacing and high, and the guards wouldn’t have to be the best in the world, as they would only need protection from the few bad people who got through the screen.  And the good people wouldn’t be intimidated from visiting those places.

I had considered putting a more exclusive screen around each vulnerable section and getting rid of the guards, but I think that those parts deserve to have a more nuanced system that allows entry to people individually judged to be “good,” rather than a cookie cutter definition of “good.”

So far, I’m less lonely, and no one has destroyed anything. But this is in its infancy stage, and I have yet to be tested.


One thought on “Boundaries

  1. I know all about this wall you write about. I’ve built a very similar wall. It took me years to knock it down, completely…..But, over time I rebuilt it. It’s now bigger and so much stronger than my previous wall. I’m not sure I want to ever knock it down again…It’s my security. I’m tired of being hurt, over and over, by the same people. So, for now, I have my wall and I’m doing the best I can!:)
    By the way, I love what I’m reading. You got this writing thing down!:):)


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