Tenants defuse a dangerous neighborhood conflict with love
I live in a very rural area of the Sierra foothills in California, and I own a small apartment complex with 9 units in a tiny town of 120 people that is 20 twisty mountain miles from the next small town where there only a few police. It can feel like the wild west.
Most of my tenants are low income and have not had the advantages of higher education or training. But they do have wise hearts. They have made quite a tight knit community and created a small organic produce garden which they share and maintain.
11 years ago a man notorious for outrageous behavior and drinking moved into the house across the street with his wife and two children. He had a long running feud with one of my tenants. One day shortly after he moved in, that tenant’s child crossed his lawn on the way to the school bus. The man burst out of his house with a pistol, drunk, shirtless and screaming. “I’m going to kill that son of a b*!@* kid and every last one of you mother f*!@#*#’s!” He ranted for several minutes alarming the entire apartment complex.
The tenants got together. What could they possibly do? The police were really not an option. This was before the time of ubiquitous cell phone videos. They initially felt powerless until one of them stopped and had an insight that came directly from his heart. Here’s what they did that resolved the situation.
On a day when the man and his family were home, the tenants baked an enormous batch of cookies. Then a group of them, not including anyone from the family where there was a trigger., went across the street to the man’s house. When he answered the door with his wife behind him, they gave him the still hot cookies and invited the family to share in their food garden. The man and his family did not actually take them up on the garden offer, but after that time, there was never another problem. Peace and resolution all because they were willing to listen to heart’s wisdom. May our whole world learn from this amazing example.
What beautiful moment! This reminds me of the classic analogy of “fire”: if one puts more fuel on a “fire,” the fire grows. However if one refrains from throwing fuel on the fire, the fire goes out. And in this case, the fire is extinguished by LOVE. Yes!