Walking through the neighborhoods in cities where one doesn’t live is a great way to learn about the people who live there. I recently sat on the bus next to a writer who hated the city in which he lived. As he made sarcastic jokes I wondered if we were talking about the same place.
I had wandered the streets in the soft rays of the evening sun, reflecting on the lake bordering the city with its clear water and swans. Sure there were pockets of things less than tidy yet the flower boxes dotting the apartment balconies, people lingering to chat with friends, and the pedestrian walk-ways crying out for people to explore and window-shop spoke of something quite different.
Even the journeys out into the suburbs for evening dinners did nothing to change the sense of order, family, and beauty. Sure the location helped, Switzerland is known for its beauty, yet there was something more. In any other location clusters of people living and working together will often bring out the worst of the human species. Trash somehow misses its receptacle, cars find parking spots where there none can be found, and sidewalks reflect the burden of caring for the masses that ignore the needs for comforts of home. All this is true unless someone takes the time to care and do something about his and her caring.
In my walks Geneva reflects, in general, this type of caring. As I listened to the whine of someone who has become blind I wondered if I was just as guilty in the place I normally call home.
I heard Wisdom’s voice. “As a dog eats its own vomit, so fools recycle silliness.” (Proverbs 26.11)
Is the proverb true in my life? I hold values close to my heart, yet am I blind to what is around me? Can my lack of sight impact my judgment? At some time the answer in my life is a big and sad yes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today is a chance to make a difference.