Like billions of other people around the world – including most of you reading these words – I keep the doors to my home locked, rather than leaving them wide open around the clock. I also have a fenced-in backyard. I believe that the great poet Robert Frost was right when he wrote: “Good fences make good neighbors.”
I don’t hate my neighbors. But I value my privacy and I want to take reasonable precautions against burglars and other criminals entering my home through open doors. I know the overwhelming number of people walking or driving by my home mean me no harm, but I’m realistic enough to know that criminals exist in the world and I don’t want to become their easy target.
In his poem “Mending Wall,” Frost reminds us that before a fence can be seen as a “good fence” there must be a good reason and a need for it to be erected.
Fencing or walls that keep people from leaving – like the Berlin Wall or North Korean border barriers – are not good fences. They turn cities or nations