Neighbors Are Our Best Defense

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We all have neighbors, whether we are among the fortunate few who are wealthy enough to live in the suburbs, or the great mass of people who live in the nitty gritty, down and dirty inner city, like I do….Neighbors are the people we see each and every day, just by association and geographical proximity…

We bump into them entering or leaving our apartments, getting the mail, emptying the trash, or if you live in a high rise you see them on the elevators constantly, at odd intervals…They are hard to avoid bumping into, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, although I have some neighbors that because of conflicting work schedules I rarely ever even see…

For the last decade I have lived in a small apartment complex of 24 units, 12 units on each side, sort of like a motel arrangement, and I know each and every one of my current neighbors by name, and they know me…I consider myself extremely fortunate, because all my current neighbors are great people, very decent and peaceful and friendly besides…Unfortunately for many other people, and for me myself in other neighborhoods and apartments I have lived in, that is not always the case…

I have lived in apartment units where some of the neighbors are extremely unfriendly, if not downright malicious, and you still have to put up with them, their noise, like blasting their music, their outright rudeness, their drunken brawls with each other on the weekends, their loud parties etc….I once had a neighbor who was so whacked out on drugs, crack I think, he threw his television set through his living room out onto the sidewalk!…

I have no idea what drove him to do this, but I am sure it made perfect sense to him at the time…He was not an American citizen, and so when the police came and arrested him, they ended up just deporting him back to his native country….

Before I moved into this complex, I lived in another apartment building across town and had another neighbor, a woman, who I strongly suspected was a drug dealer, judging by the tremendous amount of traffic she had coming and going to her door at all hours, staying briefly, like 5-10 minutes, and then leaving at all hours…

She had unsavory characters knocking on her door day and night, and this actually made me nervous, I was pretty sure I knew what was going on, but tend to mind my own business as a general rule……I had a nodding acquaintance with her whenever I passed her in the hallway or bumped into her getting the mail, but was never actually friends with her or ever entered her apartment myself….

And I was right to be apprehensive, because one time, late at night, I heard a volley of pistol shots ring out, inside our building! Of course I was terrified and laid low, this is anybody’s worst nightmare, but after the police came, I ventured outside my apartment and there was a small crowd of neighbors in the hallway outside her door…

I found out from the other neighbors that she had apparently been ripped off, apparently over some drug deal gone bad, and that she was shooting at the robbers as they ran down a flight of stairs to the street outside…The police of course offered no specific details…

She claimed self defense and apparently her gun was registered, so as far as I know she got away with it, although never having been on friendly terms with her I only heard this gossip through the other neighbors, that the robbers were trying to rip her off for some drugs, and that she was shooting at them as they fled the building…

I am not sure if she actually hit any of them, but she sure was trying!….At any rate, she moved out of the building shortly thereafter, and so did I…

You also have to strike a social balance with your neighbors no matter where you live, between being friendly and being overly friendly…I imagine that must be quite a problem in the suburbs, where people have made long term financial investments in their houses and are trying to escape the dangers of the inner city and find a peaceful place to raise their kids long term also…

Of course, just living in the suburbs is no guarantee of that, but the odds are better, just because of the de facto economic segregation…Only the wealthiest people can afford to live in the suburbs in America today, and this makes them feel more smug and superior and less prone to violence against them…

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The stereotypical image of the suburbs to me, mostly garnered through watching old movies, is the welcome wagon, where new neighbors are greeted and welcomed by the more established ones when they first move in, and kaffe klatches, where the stay at home parents gather each day after they take their kids to school and drink coffee and gossip and socialize, and of course there are always the weekend barbecues in the sunny summertime…

If you have a swimming pool, I am sure you will have instant popularity in your new neighborhood as well….This is all well and good if you are the sociable type and like your neighbors, but God help you if you are locked into a long term mortgage and simply can’t stand your next door neighbors, for whatever reasons! They are always right there! There is no escape from them, year after year after year, they are not moving and neither are you….

In the inner city, where the population by nature is more transient and likely to move more often, we have no welcome wagons, and certainly no swimming pools, but we do have one thing the more wealthy suburbanites often lack, due to their false sense of the true value of economic security and fetish for privacy…We definitely have each others backs!

Where I live now, we all watch out for our neighbors property, their apartments, and their car just the same as our own, and if any stranger shows up in our neighborhood or trespasses on our property, we are quick to challenge them or question them as to why they are there…This provides an impromptu sense of security that is surprisingly effective and makes our apartment complex more cohesive and safe for everybody……

Many neighborhoods work with their local police departments to establish Neighborhood Awareness Programs, or Neighborhood Watch Programs,where the police are notified, and quickly respond, to any reported suspicious activities…

Nobody wants to be a hero, but nobody want to be a victim either….I heartily endorse these programs, the police are being overwhelmed by crime reports these days and can’t be everywhere, so it is a relief to them to have a specific incident to respond to and extra sets of eyes to report any suspicious activity….

This is the current state of life in America in 2015, like it or not…We all have neighbors, close neighbors, especially in the inner city, and we need to know and recognize who does and does not belong in our apartment complexes, on our joint property, and to at least be on friendly terms if at all possible with all of them…Our neighbors are our best line of defense in the urban jungle of inner city life…

It is only common sense, like that old saying, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Or “If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.” Think about it…

4 thoughts on “Neighbors Are Our Best Defense

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too
    complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post,
    I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Like

    1. Hi Constance, I am just simply trying to say that we should at least know who our neighbors are…You don’t have to be best buds with them, but if push comes to shove they will probably be involved, one way or another, just because of their proximity to you, so it’s good to know who they are, that’s all…Please do read some of my other blogs, I will try to be more specific…I try to post daily….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

  2. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your
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    Like

    1. Hi Lidia, I appreciate your kind comments and have received a few more like them about Internet Explorer…What exactly is the problem with Internet Explorer on your end, it seems OK from this end….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

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