Dynamics in society are interesting things. People want to believe other people are a certain way. If they aren't the way we like we hope something will change them. Perhaps they will be miraculously different. We assume that "life-altering events" will change people. We don't believe people really mean everything they say. We think that when it comes down the wire it will actually be better than we thought.
But people are who they are. Time and time again they will prove it. Let's take an example of neighbors at a block party.
You and your friend are politely talking about your children. Suddenly you see him approaching. He's always the loud one. Not only is he loud but he's completely inappropriate. Can't he see everyone's children are there?
He's always boasting about how he and his friends are going to improve the neighborhood. But the funny part is the neighborhood is pretty great. It's better than most neighborhoods around. Some of the people in the neighborhood could use some improvement. But that's never what he's talking about. Some of them need to take a look in the mirror. Life requires effort and focus. It requires work and time to remember important things like family, friends and civility. To make our neighborhood even better we need the people in it to work on their own lives.
Of course, this guy is the one with the most money in the neighborhood. He's had quite a life. Some of the other neighbors have talked about him. He's had some wild parties. He's made some pretty "interesting decisions." Most people, without his money, would have been in some serious trouble and be in jail. But he bailed himself out I guess. His language and ideas about who belongs in our neighborhood and who doesn't, makes people kind of riled up at our parties. He has even been the fuel for some pretty intense fights among different people in the neighborhood.
He's made advances at women in the neighborhood. Someone even said his ex filed a complaint, but was silenced by payment in the end. Other women had made some claims too that he could be pretty violent. I am not really surprised based on how he talks about women to them and publicly. I can certainly say if I had a teenage daughter she would never be left in his presence.
Some of the people at the party always dread some of the other neighbors too. One of the women was married to a pretty well-known neighborhood guy. She stood by him when a lot of people thought she shouldn't. She has been working closely with the current neighborhood homeowner's leader. People aren't thrilled about his leadership. Although the neighborhood economy has improved, more people are working. She has sent out some homeowners email from her personal account. She really could have jeopardized our safety.
She isn't one to really have a beer within our neighborhood. She's spent most of her time in this neighborhood working. She's always working on something. She didn't take any time off for her family. She has been doing high profile work her whole life. It's not what people like to see. Although the other guy in the neighborhood has worked a lot too. Nobody seems to care about how he treated his family. All of the different families he has.
What's really interesting is that the neighborhood has been kind of heated lately. The current homeowner president is almost done with his term. Those two neighbors -- him and her -- they are ready to take his spot. There have already been threats and accusations about the neighborhood losing its luster and people moving out with either person entering the new president's position. His position seems more volatile than hers, though. If he gets that position, surrounding towns and neighborhoods have threatened to withdraw support for our neighborhood goals and missions in the future. He has even proposed to put up a huge stockade fence surrounding our neighborhood to keep others out. The only reason our neighborhood exists is because so many people have moved into it from other neighborhoods.
The future of this neighborhood is at stake. I know it fears me to think it's possible my children will have to hear such horrible things about women in the future if this guy becomes our president. They will hear a neighborhood leader put down other neighbors with hateful statements and actions. I wouldn't even trust that guy in the yard with my nieces. I know, I know the woman sent out some emails from the wrong account. Potentially harmful ones, for sure. Hopefully, she has learned which email accounts to use. It is hard to think she will miss more of her family life for her work. But being neighborhood homeowner president is a big job. One that takes a lot of hard work and life focus. Good thing you don't want to have a beer with her -- she's too busy in the neighborhood already anyway.