Friday, October 5, 2012

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Do good fences make good neighbors?  Unlike friends or family, conflicts with neighbors are tricky to navigate.  When confronting a neighbor you can't guarantee that there is a foundation of mutual love and respect, but sometimes there are issues that just need to be addressed.

There are times when there are inevitably going to be conflicts with neighbors.  One of our neighbors, an older man who is a bachelor, just got a video camera.  He constantly has it pointed at the neighborhood kids at play.   It makes me uncomfortable.  I'm pretty sure he just likes having a new gadget and that his video taping is benign, but I don't want to at some point discover strange videos of my kids on YouTube.  I don't want someone other than family video taping my kids with no real purpose.  In other words, at some point this is an issue I am going to need to address.

Another neighbor has expressed continued concern about our ugly yard.  She wants us to fix it up, and she has brought it up weekly for the past several months.  We rent our house and we don't want to invest a lot of money in our yard.  We just have a lot of other priorities right now with a fourth baby on that way!  But, how do we tell her nicely (again) that we aren't going to be doing much to change our yard, which from her perspective is an eye sore.

What do you think?  Conflict is an inevitable part of community.  How do you handle conflict with a neighbor and still maintain a close, positive relationship with your community?

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