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Love Thy Neighbor, A Cautionary Tale

Love Thy Neighbor, A Cautionary Tale. Online facebook pages. 

Behold the online community page–
a source of ignorance, entertainment, and unbridled rage.
Once intended to join neighbors as one,
Went from sunshine to raindrops, to this ain’t gonna be fun.

Chats between neighbors, a thing of the past.
Angry villagers post, opinions are cast.
A lack of restraint, from those of all ages.
Votes are in– we’re on different pages.

“There’s a boy at the bus stop, it’s December 3rd!
He’s wearing no jacket; now that’s just absurd!”

The numbnuts chimes in with snickery reply,
They don’t know the boy, yet insert their why:

I’ll bet his mum works– she must not much care.
Had his parents been present, they’d cover that hair!
He’s probably the reason my hydrangeas lost their bloom.
Hoodlums, I tell you! A generation of doomed!

(Who gave out the Wifi?) Sigh.

The snow removal or lack thereof.
They comment like chosen ones sent from above.

Dog parks, poop bags, who spent the town’s money.
The tween and the teens, and the missing albino bunny. (Again!)
No vaping, no skating, no evening congregating.
The bakery downtown should not keep me waiting!

Election season brings out just the worst.
This page was quite useful when I misplaced my purse!
But the disgruntled kibitzing that hurts us the most
Are judgy and anger-filled PARENTING posts.

(Parents are doing the best they can, really.)

Just this week a post came across my feed.
Tween hoodlums wreaked havoc– this planted a seed!
The town was pristine and perfectly neat,
Till these thieving tween scoundrels came right down the street.

The mutts were unsupervised, they recklessly dared,
For what would come next, they weren’t prepared.
Their prank had been seen, much to their chagrin,
The secret was out, parents neglected their kin.

(I took some creative liberty here.) Moving right along!

The miffed lady drafted this thug story to the masses!
She metaphorically cracked skulls, took names and kicked asses.
As expected her post did more harm than some good.
Putting a spotlight on a kerfluffle in the heart of her hood.

Within minutes suggestions, were spitefully spewed.
Doling lashes to kids who at best were quite rude.

Call the police, they typed without reading it first.
Unedited hate– those posts are the worst!
What is the meeeaaaaning behind these brats that are kids?
Let’s hide random cameras and catch them on vids!

A picture was painted, it was really quite clear.
Why we’re schizophrenically parenting and in need of strong beer.
And how did this happen? I’ll tell you right now.
The worldwide connection has webbed us somehow.

Our grandparent told us from way back in the day,
They walked uphill to school, not once but each way.
They were lucky they owned more than one shoe at all,
Their parents used booze to quell pains when they’d fall.

Our parents had told us fireworks were the rage.
Their friend lost two fingers by my oldest son’s age.
At sixteen their brother had crashed a friend’s car–
And chalked an ID to sneak to a bar.

But OUR KIDS– they live under a strong microscope.
Constant surveillance makes a challenge to cope.
Not one day goes by without a text or a call,
Or a COMMUNITY page post exposing it ALL.

Your son with no helmet while riding to school.
The kids were too loud, they follow few rules.
Your daughter was out really quite late.
She seems kind of young, don’t you think for a date?!

For everyone to see, to judge, to share.
For voyeurs, to comment, to repost without care.

Near-death escapes and risk that prevailed,
In one breath we are told of unsupervised tales.
The very next breath, we are shamed and wrung,
Held hostage for every small move of our young.

Seldom do others think back to their youth,
The imperfect times or consider the truth.
What it’s like to be young, growing up in today.
Making connections to their much younger ways.

Mistakes were made and learned from the past.
Our kids need that, too– this tension can’t last.
Constant surveillance has caused a great big divide.
Paranoid parents looking to hide.
Anxious for kids making simple mistakes
Human connection, that’s what’s a stake.

This, dear community, hurts everyone.
Engage, connect, don’t aim to shun.
As we engage on a COMMUNITY page,
Release the ignorance, the anger, the unbridled rage.

Love thy neighbor, call this a win.
you’ll get out, what you put in.
I’m thinking what we might need most,
Is a positive, community parenting post.

Love thy neighbor, a cautionary tale.


  • Laurenseaglass

    October 30, 2018

    By far….my favorite piece you have written.. Well done!!!!!

    • Jenn

      October 30, 2018

      Yes! Nicely said!

  • Kristin Sherman

    October 31, 2018

    love this one…so true

  • Amy

    October 31, 2018

    Way to go Elease! We need to lead by example and that page is certainly not how I want my girls to be treating other people!

  • sue turner

    November 3, 2018

    love this !

  • Lisa Sundstrom

    November 3, 2018

    You have such talent, insight, and clarity! Fabulous post! Thank you for this. đŸ’›

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