On air: Should you be snooping on your neighbours?

He’s been labelled the British Josef Fritzl. Yesterday a man was given 25 life sentences for repeatedly raping his two daughters over more than two decades, fathering nine children by them.

A quick search of newspapers around the world shows this story is being reported in Germany, India, Ghana, Canada, Thailand, the US, Australia, Bahrain, South Africa and France. It struck me, as I read the story, as astounding that a case so similar to the Fritzl case could happen so soon. Call me naive but I thought the horrendous nature of that story would be a once in a lifetime occurrence… I was wrong.

So what is going wrong with society that allows these crimes to go undetected for so long? Is it a complete breakdown of society? Or just a western phenomenon?

We’re not just talking about people being held hostage or murdered. There are cases where people die alone at home and their bodies lay undiscovered for months……

Are we all leading such busy lives we don’t have time to look out for our neighbours? Or don’t we care? Should we be spending more time being nosy neighbours?

Other examples:

A child kept locked up for 4 years in joburg. In Australia many people don’t even know their neighbours’ names

53 Responses to “On air: Should you be snooping on your neighbours?”

  1. 1 Roy, Washington DC
    November 26, 2008 at 15:53

    Snooping on your neighbors is downright Orwellian, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say something if you become aware of their wrongdoing.

  2. 2 rash
    November 26, 2008 at 15:55

    its absolutely stunning what humans can do to humans, specially ones’ offspring.
    neighbours cant be blamed: how can neighbours be on the look for mystries when they cant manage their own lives?
    the children(i feel really sorry for them), would be facing a mental trauma, but they should be taught more to voice their fears. encoraging communication is the key to minimise these type iof issues

  3. November 26, 2008 at 15:57

    Cases like Josef Friti do occur around the world. There was a case very much like that happening in a suburb of Atlanta, where he did that with his daughters, and I think his son. The crimes took place in a home that was referred to as a dump, (aka landfill) which is how he got caught. The neighbors complained about the rancid smell coming from his trailer.

    The thing about people like those two is that the average person on the street is not trained and qualified to identify people like that. It is so far removed from our reality that society is unable to know what is going on. These are horrendous acts that the average person just cannot comprehend.

  4. 4 Robert Evans
    November 26, 2008 at 15:58

    I think that the United Kingdom should bring back the death penaulty because people like these people don’t deserve to spend the rest of their lives living out of the public purse. That is why I would want to have these evil people executed. In the United Kingdom it costs £105,000 per cell per year. I am quiet annoyed about this cost because that would buy a nice house.

  5. 5 jamily5
    November 26, 2008 at 16:00

    the question is asked:
    “Are we all leading such busy lives we don’t have time to look out for our neighbours? Or don’t we care? Should we be spending more time  being nosy neighbours?

    he answer is both “yes,” and “no.”
    1. we do live lives that are too busy and we barely know our neighbors. We don’t take the time to get to know people.
    2. No, we should not snoop or be “nosey.”
    he very nature of snooping and being nosey means that we are trying to find out something that is hidden and we are using all sorts of sneaky methods to do it.
    That is still not “Getting to know our neighbors.”
    Some of the most accurate information is found out after a relationship is established and people *allow* you into their lives.
    Granted, the fathers in the stories listed above would not have been forth coming.
    But, it would have been found out. There is also a difference in intention.
    ” snoopers rarely have pure motives. And, they often misinterpret actions and words to prove their theories.
    I have known many “snoopers” in my time.
    But, if we know and communicate with our neighbors out of a sense of genuinness and community, then, we are not urged by an over active imagination.
    Adn, we are also more objective in our findings and will not easily jump to conclusions.

  6. 6 Monica in DC
    November 26, 2008 at 16:03

    I don’t think “snooping” is the right word. Be aware, sure, but no not snooping. Some of my closest friends are my neighbors. We know almost everyone on the court at least a bit, and there are about 60 houses. There are always court parties going on, especially on holidays such as 4th of July and Halloween.

    When something seems a bit off, my close neighbor friends and I, as a group tend to discuss it and try to decide if something needs to be done. So far nothing as extreme as things mentioned above have happened, but we’ve had issues with animal neglect and people cutting down trees.

  7. 7 selena in Canada
    November 26, 2008 at 16:12

    I know all my neighbors well. But I honestly don’t have any idea how they interact as families.

    I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about snooping. And there is no way that I could ever learn… I think.

    However, whenever when we go walking, my friend knows every person in every car that passes. If she sees something or someone different, she makes a remark about it. It is a talent and it always amazes me. I hardly see the car let alone the people.

    I wouldn’t call it snooping. She just has a different interest in people. Whereas things would happen under my nose, nothing would get past my friend.

  8. 8 Zack
    November 26, 2008 at 16:14

    No, average people should not be watching each other, rather they should be watching the people in power in the USA, who are ruining our economic system and robbing the US Treasury of our nation’s wealth.

    It is the scoundrels who say we should watch one another, because they know we will not watch them.

  9. November 26, 2008 at 16:17

    As a Brit in Jax Florida and the President of a 180 ranch houses Homeowners Ass. I was surprised at how neighbor would snoop and cite offences and even let a neighbors dog loose and call the pound. I repeatedly deter that but surely there cannot be many places where this rape atrocity could occur. I do remember though as a young man that a Catholic priest in Greenock Scotland, was supposed to be servicing the mother and two daughters of one family without too much community concern??

  10. 10 steve
    November 26, 2008 at 16:28

    I also think that people need to give up on the hope of good nature of people. While this is surely rare, it’s probably not as rare as you think. And what would be more common is that I would think most people would lie/steal if they thought they could get away with. Hence why infidelity rates are so high, if you lose your wallet, you’re not going to get it back with money in it. I just got a call from a credit card company today telling me that someone tried to use my card, and so they cancelled my card and I had to spend 10 minutes onthe phone with them calling from europe, which is expensive.. Also, if people truly had a good nature, we wouldn’t have police forces. Havinig police is evidence #1 that people are bad natured. This basement monster is just an extreme example.

  11. 11 Luci Smith
    November 26, 2008 at 16:45

    I think one has to be aware of one’s neighbors, especially if one lives in an apartment.

    For some reason, I almost always have had a flat underneath couples where the man was violent. I think that domestic violence/violence toward women is very widespread in Denmark. Yesterday’s topic, but still relevant today on Tina Turner’s 70th birthday.

    When there are children or property involved, one reports it to the police. But basically, in a society where frustrated men take their vengance out on women,
    if the woman does not ask for help, nothing normally happens. Please show me a society where the men are not on steroids!

    Isn’t there a difference between showing interest and being nosy which has to do with respecting other people but also showing concern for the weak?

  12. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    November 26, 2008 at 17:23

    @ steve

    Police do more than just prevent and solve crimes. Case in point…I landed in a field a few months ago (I skydive), and had it not been for the sheriff’s deputy that saw me and stopped to help, it would have taken a lot longer to find me.

  13. 13 jens
    November 26, 2008 at 17:35

    let’s face it, there has always been a certain percentage of the population that is phsycotic and criminally insane. given the larger amount of people and the world press, who loves to report such acts of repulsion, we obviously hear a lot more about it than 300 years ago……

  14. 14 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    November 26, 2008 at 17:39

    I don’t have a problem with the spirit of the question. It’s the word “snooping” that puts me off. People have a right to privacy. I suppose you could say that people have a right to turn a blind eye, but it’s not one enshrined by the Constitution.

    Anonymity is a problem inherrent to big cities. And even small towns. I think the best solution would be to encourage people to become more involved with their neighbors. There should be a place within walking distance of every home where people can come to voluntarily and without the need to pay.

    Social cooperatives. That’s right. I used the “s” word. Look it up. It does not mean “the government tells you what to do.”

  15. November 26, 2008 at 17:41

    Please WHYS, what a daft question! That’s the polite way of putting it.

    I don’t see what “snooping on neighbours” has to do with it, and in this case:
    “The father moved the family from village to village in rural locations to keep them isolated and to avoid detection. ” Neighbours? It would seem there weren’t any neighbours.

    This is a case of Gaussian Probability Distribution; there are going to be people on either end of the curve with the mass in the middle. The perpetrator in this case is so far out on the thin end of the curve he is dropping off the edge, but so are his daughters.

    Josef Fritzl kept his daughters locked up in a cellar, but these women had access to telephone, and doctors. Oh dear. Anything that one can deduce from this does not rate the poor women as what can be described as moderately intelligent.

    Of course one feels a sympathy for them, but I am more sympathetic for the families collective stupidity. There isn’t a lot one can do as a society to prevent such such hopeless cases landing themselves right in it. Snooping on your neighbours is certainly no answer.

    The idea of encouraging people to “snoop” on their neighbours is not even a solution, it’s pretty nasty, and in my opinion an irresponsible suggestion.


  16. 16 John in Salem
    November 26, 2008 at 17:52

    As abhorrent as these things are to our modern sensibilities they are not new. This kind of stuff has gone on for millennia without the benefit of a media that thrives on the lurid and shocking.
    But if it takes a village to raise a child it also takes a village to abuse one. People have to look away, not ask questions, not get involved and above all, not have the nerve to approach that invisible line that separates a concerned, responsible neighbor from a common neighborhood gossip.

  17. 17 Robert
    November 26, 2008 at 18:00

    Should we be vigilant of others, of course, but we should remember to keep things in context. Each one of us has a habit or two which an outsider might consider suspicious. If a society of snoopers was to develop, then the police would become so overwhelmed investigating paranoia that they would not be able to tackle real crimes.

  18. 18 Donnamarie Leemann
    November 26, 2008 at 18:24

    Hi, World Have Your Say Team,

    I think your question is a little off-target here. I’ve recently moved to a town of 38,000 people but for the past 25 years I lived in a tiny rural farming village where such outrages would be impossible. It wasn’t that anyone snooped; it’s just that in a small village everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

    I’d like to suggest that, as the Information Age and Globalization progresses, mankind becomes more informed about what everyone else is doing and the world will, indeed, become more like my tiny village.

    I don’t think that we need to snoop, or necessarily change existing laws. We hear more about such horrible things on the Web, on our cell phones and I don’t think that these things are happening any more now than before: now, we KNOW about them when we didn’t before.

    No, I don’t think we need to “snoop.” We just need to observe and care about what’s going on around us.

    All the best,

    Donnamarie Leemann
    La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

  19. 19 Ogola Benard
    November 26, 2008 at 18:27

    The practice of incest is very common in those mentioned countries and no wounder children born of such parents are believed to be having some abnormalities – some of them are just so urgly and just missing a status of an inbecile! children born are no doubt of weak gene.
    Other reasons could be arranged marrieges, forced marrieges, poverty and sickness! Others may be due polygamy, divorce and lust – A second wife for some unknown reason, will mistrate the children of the other by over working them, beating, leaving them untidy, deny them beddings and giving them just a handfull for a mean perhaps even one a day!
    There has been reports in east african of ritual sacrifice inorder to get rich! so many people have been beheaded, thier tongue and private parts found cut off when their bodies are recovered! This practice is said casual for construction purposes! complexes and acades!
    Still in record, there has been rape of old women, the under aged and even regorious mounting of cattle, sheep and goats! what would one call that? If then a man can admire an animal, i dont think he would spare his daughter!

  20. November 26, 2008 at 18:29

    btw. John in Salem and John D. Augustine – WI USA, I think you both really good points:
    > Social cooperatives. … It does not mean “the government tells you what to do.”


    > if it takes a village to raise a child it also takes a village to abuse one.

    A little of both would go a long way.

    Sure beats the kind of “bring back the death penalty” knee jerk reactions so often seen in cases like this.

    If the government wanted to recoup some of the money it is going have to spend incarcerating the man (I can only imagine he is going to have to be in solitary for the duration, even so, prison guards are not known for their kind and loving demeanour), and the rehabilitation of the daughters, it would do well to bring in the psychiatrists to try and find out what could be the cause of such a malfunctioning human being, and what on earth induced the daughters to put up with such misery for so long.
    Now that might benefit society a little.


  21. 21 Betsy in Washington DC
    November 26, 2008 at 18:45

    The problem is with the western culture, where everyone is so individualistic. In other parts of the world it is natural to look out for others in your community. It is sad that people will call this civilization.

  22. 22 sabbir azam
    November 26, 2008 at 18:49

    in my viewpoint i think we should concern about our neighbours-in their bad times as well as happy moments.This does not mean we should create a fake retaionship with our neighbours-this must be spontenous.in our country we are interlinked with our neighbour-though by the influence of capitalism and modern modes of life we are becoming so busy day by day-we have to run fast to cope with the world.

  23. November 26, 2008 at 18:57

    I wrote: “… it would do well to bring in the psychiatrists to try and find out what could be the cause of such a malfunctioning human being,…”
    But then reading this on : http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/1373/

    “…Yet in a convenient disassociation from the ethical implications of the Nuremberg Code, the United States became the only nation in the world to officially sanction the use of prisoners in experimental clinical trials. From the ’40s through the early ’70s, American doctors regularly injected and infected inmates with malaria, typhoid fever, herpes, cancer cells, tuberculosis, ringworm, hepatitis, syphilis and cholera in repeatedly failed attempts to “cure” such diseases. Doctors in prisons pulled out prisoners’ fingernails and inflicted flash burns to approximate the results of atomic bomb attacks and even conducted various “mind-control” experiments using isolation techniques and high doses of LSD, courtesy of the CIA.

    By 1972, the pharmaceutical industry was doing more than 90 percent of its experimental testing on prisoners. The appeal and the advantages of an always accessible, highly controlled study group were obvious to researchers and trial sponsors alike; and, as researchers liked to point out, inmates themselves were eager to do something good for society, make money, or win favorable treatment or early release. But failures of these research studies often had devastating results on their captive subjects….”

    Maybe just better throw away the key!

  24. 24 Anthony
    November 26, 2008 at 19:04

    There is nothing wrong with looking out for your nieghbors. I believe spying on them is wrong. I have had nieghbors that spied on me. It is violating. To take notice is very different than spying. It’s not that hard to take notice of changes around your nieghborhood. We all notice them. If you think there is something to be concerned about, take it up with your nieghbors.

  25. 25 pallex
    November 26, 2008 at 19:09

    Just wipe out the males in the world and we will all be 75% safer.

  26. 26 rotoye richard
    November 26, 2008 at 19:17

    incest is a very common thing all over the world. In Nigeria brothers and sisters make out and more commonly between cousins. fathers are known to sleep with thier daughters. but when this things are discovered in Nigeria it is covered up and the family , due to shame try to keep it away from law enforcement. it is very difficult though to hide it from neighbors and people in the community. in africa, your neigbors will know. CALL ME…… 2348052133794

  27. November 26, 2008 at 19:19

    I find it hard to see how a man can rape any child, let alone his own.This is not only immoral but inhuman as well.If this is not a sign of the end times then I don’t know what is.My prayers go out to those innocent children.

  28. November 26, 2008 at 19:20

    We have a neighbor who is a tremendous snoop. When we first bought our home, he actually came over that first night to find out who we were and if we were supposed to be there, and he also knows our daily schedules. We live in a very small community in the middle of nowhere. He’s an ex-state policeman, in his late sixties and keeps a close eye on everything that happens on our road.

    Recently, my husband secured a field position which causes him to be away for very long stints, and home for very short ones. As much as our neighbour is a pain in the behind, it sounds bizarre, but I am grateful for him. I feel safer. Being alone a lot, he keeps a close eye on me, and makes sure that I’m aware of that.

    Sure, I treasure my privacy; but as long as my neighbor isn’t peeping into my windows, if he’s out there, and watching my home when I”m home alone, or even when I’m not, I feel all the better for it.

  29. 29 Tom D Ford
    November 26, 2008 at 19:38

    2 “Fritzl” type cases out of 6,000,000,000 people is fortunately a very small number.

    So I’d say that the majority of humans are by far fairly decent people and do not deserve to labeled as bad natured.

    One human doing a kindness to another does not make the news.

    There is a saying:

    ” What you pay attention to determines what you miss”.

    Here’s to all the decent, kind, loving, attentive, generous, and every other positive descriptive, humans in the world, they sure make my world better and I thank them all for it!

    So. What do you choose to pay attention to?

  30. November 26, 2008 at 19:39

    it also has a lot to do with individuals….if im socaly akward or find it difficult to ‘make friends’ ….where does that leave the individual in question?

  31. 31 Zach
    November 26, 2008 at 19:42

    In big cities so many cultures and personalities collide so it is naturally expected that persons will be distant from each other. Some persons want to connect but they dont know how to approach their neighbour. Lets we honest we are all humans and we prefer a caring environment and that includes knowing our neighbours.

  32. 32 Brenda
    November 26, 2008 at 19:43

    I don’t think it takes so much effort to know a bit about your neighbors. When I was 20 and out on my own for the first time, I lived with a roommate in one half of a duplex. There was an 80 year old woman in the other side of the duplex. As I got home from work each evening, I noticed she closed her blinds right at 5:30 every night.

    One evening as I was leaving about 5:50 p.m., I walked by and noticed the blind was open, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement on the floor, so I peeked in the window and saw her laying on the floor, waving a tissue box. I called emergency services and they had to break a window to get in. She had fallen and broken her hip and did not know how long she had lain on the floor.

    If I had not noticed that simple habit she had of shutting the windows at 5:30 p.m., I may not have noticed her laying there at all. I did not have many interactions with her, in fact I do not remember her name now 20 years later. It doesn’t take much to know a tiny bit about your neighbor even if you have nothing in common with them.

  33. November 26, 2008 at 19:47

    What this and the other absurd realities of the globalisation of individualism, the so-called modernism and civilisation, and the denunciation and renunciation of religion and tradition tell us is that the drivers of individualism and the so-called modernism, and civilisation — the USA and Western Europe — are foolish. The rest of the people, including Africans are adopting mindlessly. The reality that the matter tells us is to revive religious and traditional consciousness and practices.

    Religion and the tradition of communalism make everyone the brother of every other and responsible for every other’s well-being, security, etc.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria.

  34. 34 Tom D Ford
    November 26, 2008 at 19:48

    There is a point when people get more crowded together, of purposefully ignoring some things in order to let the neighbor have some sense of privacy.

  35. November 26, 2008 at 19:48

    You at least must be aware of your surroundings. You will never realize that something has happened or changing if you keep your blinders on. I am my brothers keeper means so much more than just your brother.

  36. 36 jamily5
    November 26, 2008 at 19:50

    Hi Stephanie,
    I also live in a small town and can’t stand that kind of behavior.

    What I can’t stand is that people are more comfortable spying on individuals and making their own assumptions, instead of actually having a neighborly relationship. I welcome anyone who wants to get to know me and my family. However, I have no time for those people who want to gather information only about what they observe and make their assumptions about my life based on their observations. I find it insulting and rude!
    Yet, I treasure genuine communication and commend neighborly conduct.

  37. 37 Alexis
    November 26, 2008 at 19:54

    Good afternoon to all! I’m writing from Russian city Novosibirsk, Siberia region. We had a nice tradition to be warm, friendly and supportive to our neighbors in Soviet Union. That’s a great opportunity to notice if there’s something wrong in their family, flat or with themselves. And not since we were worried about some danger, but as we naturally cared about or comrades. The tradition is mostly alive in our society.

  38. 38 Abram
    November 26, 2008 at 19:57

    let us not assume that ALL people who are reclusive are uncaring or inconsiderate. Some people are merely introverted or too shy to manage multiple acquaintances; or perhaps they have some unmittigating issue they do not wish to burden others with.

    I myself have made it a point since moving into my neighborhood to get into my neighbor’s lives and have worked hard to develop a relationship with all of them and bring our small community together. I know several simple tricks to bringing people out of their shells. My wife on the other hand barely leaves the house… that’s just her personality.

  39. 39 David Garret
    November 26, 2008 at 19:57

    I have been attempting to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme in semilong, northampton and found that there are many people who don’t want to become involved due to both a fear of being seen to be prying and a fear of the criminals in our community.
    We must never be afraid to look after others in our community, especially the weak and the vunerable. Not to look after those around us would be a terrible thing and would make us less than human. In addition, criminals count on anonymity and people not caring or not paying attention.
    I regularly talk to my neighbours and even though i am quite a private person and guard my privacy, would welcome any neighbour coming in for a cup of tea and a chat.

  40. November 26, 2008 at 20:57

    Hi WHYSers!

    Implicit in the question is the assumption that the right to privacy, somehow, also entitles (?) one to break the law. This is, of course, is flawed reasoning. What might aid in overcoming anyone’s potential invocation of privacy as a way of breaking the law, especially in small community settings is to do, as one of today’s guests suggested, establish formal welcoming committees, especially in small communities. While, there are varying dynamics regarding protocols for welcoming newies in an area, these should not be left up tp chance. This might lesen, in some ways, incidents of abuse and criminality, like that above.

  41. November 26, 2008 at 21:27

    Alright, so perhaps my earlier note was not reviewed before publication (spelling errors, etc)! LOL! However, I do see a value in welcoming committees being used to “break the ice” and give newbies a feel for the culture of the community in which they live. This is ideal in small, presumably, close knit settings. It should not, however, be assumed that people don’t care because some of these incidents happen, so much as they don’t know. Where there is ignorance all manner of things can happen, like people going missing and dying without notice. More effort must be made to incorporate knowledge, at some level, of the people living in an area. This overcomes potential problems like this criminal father who raped his daughters repeatedly in the example above.

  42. November 27, 2008 at 02:22

    Hi everybody !

    About two months ago, a girl who worked for the same company was murdered by her husband. The police found her body on the floor of her flat after 27 long days. The neighbours didn’t suspect anything.
    Most the people that were close to her, knew that her husband suffers some mental disorder and that he was maltreating her. Until one day she didnt come to work and neither did her husband. Still, her body had to wait 27 days to be found.
    I wonder if this had to happen ??? What is wrong with us ? Everybody knows and we cannot prevent those things ???
    It is part of the answer, the society became more careless and more scared…..

  43. 44 Rajesh Santhanam
    November 27, 2008 at 05:18

    This concept of ‘privacy’ has been taken to extreme heights leading to complete breakdown of a sense of community. I come from that part of Indian society where everybody knew almost everthing about everybody in the colony. Though it was troublesome at times domestic violence used to be curbed and the men involved were counselled and rebuked if unrepentant. I have seen many children and wives relieved of their toture by the intervention of ‘snoopy’ neighbourhood aunty. Please help develop inter-dependent communities. It helps everybody leading to overall sense of security.

  44. 45 Rebekah
    November 27, 2008 at 08:32

    I think instead of being nosy neighbours we should be caring neighbours. We need to take the time to get to know our neighbours. I know when I was a child I knew my neighbours and that we looked out for each other. I now live in Norway and although I do not speak the language very well and have just moved to the suburb where we are now living. The neighbours say hi to one another and check to see if anyone is okay. For example our driveway has not been shovled from snow for some due to my husband breaking his collar bone and us not needing the care and a neighbour that I had not meet before offered to do it for me. That is what the world needs more off caring and concerned neighbours.

  45. November 27, 2008 at 09:12

    there is a lack of FAMOUS people such that you don’t even have the time to know bits of the humans next door(jas kidding).but snooping should and will never end for your governments immigration offices will need to be taken to the grass roots to finger print and know the number of people who are coming and getting out..just like even motels where you go to seek your privacy,you need to let them know your name and other passport details.


  46. 47 Arnaud
    November 27, 2008 at 11:25

    What if I do I end up having serious problems with my neighbours. So you see as society changes many things change. Even here in Africa we are adopting western life stlyes of living alone, no care etc.

  47. November 27, 2008 at 16:01

    I lived in a community, shortly after university, for almost a year and a half and almost never met the neighbours, with the exception of my landlady. It is entirely possible, given the changing nature of society now, to become completely involved with one’s own ‘issues’ in such a way as to not know much that goes on in the neighbourhood. I think we take it for granted that communities are homogeneous, so that the dictum to “be our brother’s keepers” can be applied universally. While, the value of the sentiment has not changed, over time, how we display these attitudes have, by necessity, shifted to accomodate all the changes in the societies around us. We certainly cannot legislate care and compassion but we can certainly encourage it more actively by organising activities that afford more people those opportunities.

  48. 49 David
    November 28, 2008 at 15:53

    You have never lived with a neighbour from HELL, I have. From day one when they moved to the house next door, the nightmare started. I have never seen any thing like this before. It took 6 months for them to learn the hard lesson.

  49. November 28, 2008 at 19:40

    Due to modernisation todays world have become to complex. We all want many things in our lives which never ends. In this process of achiveing Materialistic thing we end up with bad relationship with all. We at times want to show off our friends, with what we have. Thus we care least about our friends and neighbours. So how come we will come to know about them, who they really are and what going on in thier minds. We should stop runing behinf the money and wealth, no one has carried this wealth with him after his death. What the use of such wealth, when we just need food, water, air and shelther, which is in plenty on this planet. So let us give more time to our enviornment, it not only plants and animal, but also our friends & neighbours. Let have some gettogather, arrange some pinics.

  50. 51 Rajesh Chaudhary
    November 30, 2008 at 06:07

    When we live in community, it is our responsibility to know at least our neighbor. But, as a matter of fact, it will be a gaffe to pry on neighbor daily duty and keep peeping in, on whats going on inside their house. But, it obviously doesn’t mean that you discount the serious matter even if you get to notice about it in your neighbor.

  51. December 1, 2008 at 08:49

    Privacy is easily dissolved in the United States, if a truth is told the government doesn’t like. There exist now a mass police agency called Homeland Security that is easily used to call down on a citizen crimes no less than like those of the NAZI SS.

  52. 53 Kirsten, Belgium
    December 1, 2008 at 14:07

    It is important to contrast curiosity with concern and politeness. Curiosity occurs when one needs to know every single detail of what other people do the full their days. Surely this can not be healthy and should not be tolerated. Concern on the other hand is a quality everyone should learn to master.
    Imaging living next to an old lady. Every day she collects the mail from her mailbox at precisely nine am. On a certain day, the lady is not seen. It is than very natural to be concerned. It seems that the correct thing to do in this sort of situation is perhaps call an ambulance or at least ring the doorbell or try to contact the lady in another way. It is the responsibility of the whole community to look out for the children as well as the elderly. Certain circumstances can of course hamper the situation. If there are living other people in the house besides the old lady, one could recon that it is not his place to look out for his or her neighbour. Moreover, small towns are advantaged. When one still lives in a village where ‘everyone knows you and you know everyone’ it is more obvious when someone is not following his daily routine. When living in a town with 47,000 other people this complicates the situation. Being polite is yet another way to express concern. A friendly conversation with a neighbour when passing by on the street is harmless and could be beneficial to a pleasant relationship with one another. Needless to say that this kind of behavior should be taught to the children in order for them to grow up into caring adults.

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