On my way to Golden Gardens I pass a series of small, unassuming houses. They are simple in design, built maybe 60 or 70 years ago. They have small yards, inviting porches and front doors left open. One can look into their living rooms through their open front doors or street facing windows. These folks don’t have much to hide; they feel no need to completely shut out the world passing by on the sidewalk below.

Then across the street is an apartment complex. It is about 5 or 6 stories high, has a metal fence with a gate that shuts out everyone except those who know the code. Each window is shuttered, every door shut and “securely” locked. They have no porches, no connection to the life happening just outside their compound.

I look at the house with the front door open, the porch comfortable and inviting with chairs and small sofa. Then I look across the street at the metal barricade, the gate with its 5-digit code and the locked up windows and doors. I compare the two places and wonder if the people in the complex know something there house dwelling neighbors don’t. Is there something out there that wants so badly to get into our homes that we need gated communities with 5-digit code boxes?

I mean seriously, who and what are they trying to keep out? Are the people across the street oblivious to this perceived threat? Why don’t they have a fence, a gate code, locked front doors and shuttered windows?

These differing perceptions of the world around us are what make America an interesting and scary place to live.


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