Imagine This

You and your family own This House — not a big house, no, actually a House that is quite small on a very large street. Throughout the years, most of your family gets kicked out of the House; few remain. Some move to other houses (any that will take them), get kicked out of others, or are even killed during their stay. Eventually, another family moves in to This House. Years later, after so many houses refuse your family (whatever is left of your family), much of the community agrees that you can now have half The House back. But this family, the ones that had moved in, they don’t want you in the house at all. They try, forcefully, violently, to get you evicted. You manage, against all odds, miraculously, to take ownership of The House.

The House is small. But it is yours. You decorate it; you add some plumbing, some modern day technology. You sing in your house. You are happy in your House. But that family — the one from earlier — they constantly try to get the house back. Finally, one day you agree to give them a room. It is not a big room, but it is a small House, and the room does have a great view. You remove your family members from that room even though they loved that room. You say to them, this family, this room is all yours, govern as you wish. We will stay on our side of the door, you stay on yours. But they are still unhappy in the room. They tell you they want the whole house — it is not a secret — and they tell you they will kill you to get it. They try many different things to get the whole House back, but they are unsuccessful.

They then gather their family and say just break the door. We will simply march and return back to the house.

If the door breaks, then kill or kidnap whomever you can. This is not a secret either; in fact, they proudly proclaim it. We must get the whole house. You guard the door for your House. You say please do not try to come into my house. It is the only one I have. It is small, but it is mine.

The Neighbours tell you they just want to stand by the door. They kick the door. They are peaceful. They break holes through the door. They are unarmed. They set fire to the door. Try stepping on their toes if they pass through. Bullets make it through the door. Try spraying water on them.

But you guard the door.

Because You recall what happened the last time they made it past the door. You have been told that your grandfather guarded the same door many years ago. So you guard the door in his memory. And you guard the door for your entire family. You guard it for your uncle who was killed in a bus bombing. He was going to work. You guard it for your sister who was stabbed in her sleep — she was a dancer. You guard it for your grandmother’s little baby brother, not even a year old, killed in a gas chamber before he could even learn to yell for his mother. He never saw the House.

You guard it because you want to live.

Oh, and those Neighbors we were speaking about.

Some of them have the most glamorous houses. Grandiose with big luscious backyards, beautiful landscaping, incredible pools. Some of these Neighbors, though, have killed off a bunch of their family members. Others have a policy to treat some family members differently than others. One Neighbor is trying to find a way to burn your House down; they are just looking for the right resources.

Some Neighbors live a little farther away, and complain you are using excessive force.

Excessive Force. What a funny phrase.

About the Author
Netanel Munks is an associate at a personal injury law firm in Toronto, Canada. He enjoys discussing legal issues with the general population via the website's blog. While he is concerned that clients get proper legal attention, his main concern is that the world will be a safe place for him to raise his children.