There is a story of the traveller visiting an Australian outback ranch. He notices the wide open spaces with cattle grazing but no fences. He asks the rancher, "How do you keep track of the cattle if they are not contained?" The older rancher replies, "Out here we build wells instead of building fences." The implication that the cattle are highly motivated to stay close to the wells and will not wander off.
I wonder in our present political state and social attitudes if we should consider the two conditions of building community. Not necessarily literally but ideologically. (although there is a literal fence building being bandied about in a certain political party)
In building fences can we really get to know our neighbors? (Robert Frost's quote, "Good fences make good neighbors", notwithstanding.) Or is it better to provide wells which draw people for something that basically sustains. Do we provide an environment for friends, family and neighbors that attracts people to want to be with us? Are we the type of people whom others seek out? They do so, because to not be with us would mean a vital piece is missing in their lives. Are we attractive to their growth, physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually?
I know that I want to be the type of person who draws people together. I want to be known as a well builder. What about you? Do you see yourself as building a fence between you and others? Or are you a well driller? Finding the hidden depths and resources among those around you.