“The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor’s shortcomings as he is of his own.” Eric Hoffer
When I was in Graduate school, I lived in a community of students from around the world. Our huge dorm in the middle of Harlem was a great place to hang out and have both intellectually stimulating conversations and fun chats about everything under the sun. When I first moved into my dorm, I lived in a suite and had my own room. It was a fairly large suite and the best part was that we kept different schedules; so everyone found alone time during the day. All went well the first year… We were civil neighbors.
“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, “What are you going through?” Simone Weil
The following year, I had the option to move into a single on another floor and I loved the idea. A few of my friends were on the new floor and I loved the idea of connecting with a larger group of students in a single room arrangement. We had a huge common kitchen/sitting area and we would throw occasional potluck parties and invite friends from the area, other students around us, and other people in our dorms. Things were going well until a new student moved in next door to me…. To protect the innocent, I will leave her personal details out… But things turned nasty. More below