When she was finally able to return to her beautiful house, she found it abandoned except for a squatter living there. He stayed in one corner of her once marvelous mansion and had neglected the rest.
It had been a long time but she had never given up on returning to the house of her childhood.
She moved in, tried to make herself comfortable but he immediately started to harass her. I live her — get out.
She didn’t want to make a fuss. Maybe we can both live here?
He didn’t want to know of it and she had to barricade herself in her own home.
When her family started to visit and wanted to return too, his opposition became louder and more violent. It wasn’t always easy.
Now the deserted house was becoming more attractive, his distant family members moved in too. What a nice place!
Why don’t you expel them? Well, they need to live somewhere and the house is big enough for all of us, she said.
But, in the end, there was no choice. They split the house. He got more than 70%. Fine, he said. I have mighty friends. We’ll finally kick you out.
It was a bloody mess but when the smoke cleared, miraculously, she was left with even one room more than before.
She continued to develop the house and it was a marvelous sight. People came from all over to admire the result.
In the squatted part, meanwhile, the neglect continued. They spend all their energy and money on getting the whole house. All or nothing gave them nothing, time after time, but they didn’t seem to learn.
In the meantime, they lived in misery and poverty but they had one consolation. Who wouldn’t feel for them? And soon they would “repossess” the whole thing…
Of course, the problem was not that she lived there with her family. It was her house. The problem was also not that he lived there. The house was big enough. Only their jealousy, anger and hatred for her made for an ongoing conflict.
Her friends gave him large sums of money. I deserve it, as her victim, he declared and demanded more and more. He didn’t distribute the money among all of his family. In his eyes they were freeloaders. It was his.
She tried to appease them by giving them some access to the room last recaptured. But they wanted the whole room. That was the problem. Frankly, they wanted the whole house. The situation was impossible.
Then her friends offered to pump enormous amounts of money as logical incentives into the pockets of those living in the neglected part. He reacted with disgust. We are going to give up on our room, our house and our hatred because of money? That’s bribery, he exclaimed.
She wondered why the thieves would get bonuses and she would get nothing for all stolen from her and as compensation for all the hostilities forced on her. But he rejected the plan anyway, so she let it.
She, however, had done more than making her people flourish. She had grown to understand that you can’t appease people who lie and hate, to love and accept you. She disliked it but the truth was that you could only corner them into being good neighbors. Appeasement just fed their disdain.
And that’s what then happened. She, together with many outsiders, forced them and his mighty friends, to learn to love and respect her.
They quickly discovered what a lovely lady she had been all along. And they happily lived together ever after. Respect had finally become mutual.
She called her house Israel; he called his section Jordan. They had separate entrances and lived as good neighbors should. With prosperity and tranquility for all. The dark past was quickly forgotten. Goodness had triumphed.