Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I can't remember where I heard it.  But, there is some practicing theory about public health.  In order to kill a disease, we don't need to vaccinate everyone (though we probably have to tell everyone we have to vaccinate them to get them to do it).  But depending upon the bug to kill and how it works, we have to deal with a percentage.

I am wondering about friendliness growing in a community with drugs.

I am told that in Arcata, one in eight homes is a drug house.  The percentage (so I am told) is close in Fortuna.  These are homes that are probably closed -- they certainly look closed.  Folks are doing something illegal and they don't want others in.  How many closed homes from drug making, severe alcoholism, family abuse, drug use does it take before it is impossible to actually have a friendly city.  How many times can we say, "I don't want you here" or "Don't look too close" before what we have created is isolation not friendliness.

It is where pleasant smiles and waving at each other lots just isn't enough.  Can a town's economy be based on something illegal and still be friendly?  Or do we build an economy that makes us strangers from one another?  Issues we can't talk about, intimacy that can't develop.

When I came to town as a pastor, I was warned many times to be careful where I went and that there were some places just not to go near -- some places the police were afraid to go.  How can we get over grief if we are afraid to talk about why someone might have really slid off the road, or why their house really burned down?

How many of us does it take working in this industry, on production or consumption, before we inoculate ourself against friendliness and make it impossible to be a hospitable town?

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