So much of life, maybe all of it, is how we look at it. Our perspective is all we’ve got and it doesn’t always agree with everyone or anyone else. For some, fences are lines we draw to keep us safe. As the character Rose, in the August Wilson play, Fences, wants a fence and some don’t understand why. Bono tells Troy and Cory that people build fences for two reasons: “Some people build fences to keep people out…and other people build fences to keep people in.”
Do fences keep us in or them out?
Robert Frost thought that fences made good neighbors. They define what is yours and an understanding of what is not yours. No disputes will arise. My livestock and crops on my side and yours on yours. An example of keeping in and keeping out.
It is okay to protect what property is yours. It is human nature to defend oneself, to keep safe what and who we hold dear. However if we never venture beyond the pale, what narrow lives we will lead. If we never open our doors, and let others in, how tiresome life will become. We cannot protect ourselves through isolation. We must learn to live in and amongst the people of the world, whether they are next door or on the other side of the planet.
Good fences are not linear or impermeable. Keep safe. Know your limits and venture out from time to time. Life is on the outside too.