I have not met my neighbours, yet. But I have a variety of impressions from living side by side, separated by a wall that is not sound proof.
So far, I have heard only adult voices. There is no other indication that children are living right next door. People come and go. At times, the light is on in the dining room, whose windows are facing the windows of our dining room, six feet apart. Behind the curtains, outlines of human figures are visible. And these figures talk, discuss, and laugh. I consider the interactions animated, loud, passionate, Mediterranean.
In the flow of these voices, I can hear the door open and close, the conversations being carried out onto the street and slowly disappearing. Then it is silent, the light sometimes on, sometimes off.
Today I learned through a follower of this blog about an important indigenous healing initiative in Australia. It is called Lateral Love Australia and is intended to explore and help overcome the opposite of lateral love: Lateral violence.
Lateral violence happens when people who are both victims of a situation of dominance, in fact turn on each other rather than confront the system that oppresses them both.
I was touched by this initiative. I have witnessed many instances where people in marginalized communities I served in were hurting each other. Instead of pulling together towards healing from various forms of colonial trauma, people engage in acts of lateral violence (gossip, bullying, blaming, alcoholism, drug use, domestic violence, suicide). This only creates more hurt and pain, helps reinforce stereotypes, and perpetuates racism.