“Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost many years ago — a line of poetry that became accepted wisdom for many years.

But now there is the situation down along the Mexican border, with the current administration set on constructing an ultimate border wall in hopes of promoting America’s general good neighborliness.

That attempt is proving controversial to the point of constructing emotional walls, not only between the two countries, but between political parties, plus factions within these parties, right down the line into people’s homes. Indeed, “the wall” is dividing the individual heart within each of us.

It may be the hour to rethink border walls as a sensible solution to security and prosperity. Walls may cause more problems than they solve. Behind such a wall, we “natives” and migrants may well become more self-destructive in the isolation than we would in embracing the stranger.

The better risk may be for all to bring what we have and need to the table and forge a new community life that is prepared to absorb the stranger and grow strong, together.

In public schools the children sing “This Land is Your Land.” People’s real strength is not in guns, steel walls and concertina wire, but in the courageous welcome of the stranger, where all are invited to sing the song and live out its healthy implications.

Greg Boardman, Lewiston

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