February 14 , 2017 /


Robert Frost says it best:

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down…”

Frost expresses my sentiments better than I can and in such a lovely

and loving way.   I just want to tear the damn things down and let

people meet and greet one another as friends. Walls are not going to

keep people out nor keep people in and we have only to look at The

Great Wall of China or the Berlin Wall or even the walls of a prison.


When I saw the wall in Nogales, Mexico last week that separates

Nogales, Arizona from Nogales, Mexico, my overwhelming feelings

were sadness and futility. Sadness because of the current state of

affairs emanating from The White House in Washington, DC and

futility from my own inability to crash through that wall. Then I

heard Ronald Reagan in my head, saying on June 12, 1987 at the

Brandenburg gate, “Mr. Khrushchev, tear down this wall,” and I’m

not even a Republican. The wall did not come down until 1989.

For us, it’s easy to cross a border with a U.S. passport although that

could change given the climate for customs, immigration, border

patrols and inspections. All that we surrendered in Nogales was a

dozen eggs that we inadvertently left uncooked in the refrigerator

in our RV. Even our dog wasn’t subjected to an inspection other

than an inquiry about whether or not his shots were up to date. We

had visas that were good for six months and there’s an application to

become a temporary resident should we have wished to pursue that.

So why do we make it so difficult for others to come visit us except

out of an irrational fear that someone will do us harm?

My sense is that for every wall there is a ladder, bridge, tunnel or

ramp designed to illustrate the futility of putting a wall there to

separate people and countries. There are other walls that hold up

houses, a load bearing wall; a wall that keeps land from sliding

down where it’s not wanted, a retaining wall and there are different

kinds of walls – brick, metal, stone, concrete and wood. Some serve

positive and constructive purposes and I saw a stone wall being built

by hand along a high bank next to a house that was a beautiful piece

of work by an artisan.   But these are not the walls that are causing

problems. They actually solve problems. Walls that separate people

will not solve a problem, they will only make the problem worse.


Please share your thoughts and opinions