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Three Reasons Not to Block Someone’s Gate

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and for encounters with strangers

Most mornings when I draw my blackout curtains, my first view of the outdoors consists of purple, pink and yellow flowers along my side fence, the wild bushes in various shades of green on an empty lot across the street, the sky blue above and the ocean blue in the distance.

One morning, that beautiful scenery was interrupted by one of the major features I dislike in my neighborhood. No, the colors were still there, but my sense of sight was momentarily diminished by the thoughtlessness of two drivers. What did these drivers do? They blocked my gates.

Suddenly, the action of blocking gates became a matter for attention. My research online and in consultation with a local authority informed me that:

  • Putting cones or any other obstacles in the street (without permission from the local authority) to prevent parking in front of one's gate can result in prosecution for causing obstruction.
  • Everyone has the same right to park anywhere on the street as long as there is no obstruction to the street; one can report to the local authority about obstruction to private property, but such issues do not make the priority list.
  • No one has permission to ram or tow the transgressor’s car.

These facts seem to say that the issue of not blocking (or blocking) someone’s gate or driveway is left to the discretion of the would-be offender whether he or she possesses (or lacks) consideration, cooperation, and good conscience. These three virtues provide good reason for not blocking someone's gate.

1. Consideration

"Intensely selfish people ... do not waste their energies in considering the good of others." ― Ouida

Consideration is the process of thinking carefully about something to be done. The considerate person looking for parking on a street will question, "Will parking here inconvenience anyone? How much will it hurt me to find a space where I do not block the gate and walk a few extra steps to my destination?" Such consideration would have spared me two major inconveniences in the past.

(a) No Parking for the Ambulance

My mother’s illness was worsening and I called the hospital emergency room for consultation. The doctor’s recommendation was for her to come in, and he arranged for transportation by ambulance. When I realized that there was no parking space in front of the house, I turned into a madwoman running out in the street and screaming for somebody to move and allow the ambulance to get close to the gate. Perhaps I overreacted, but who has time to reason when the only options seem to be life or death?

(b) Late for Church

Being late for church may not be a big deal, but it saps mental and spiritual energy when an individual is dressed up in their Sabbath best and forced to sit on the porch waiting helplessly for an irresponsible driver. It would not have helped for me to repeat my mad performance because the driver was too far away to hear me. After almost 30 minutes, he walked up to his car with a broad smile and a gentle sorry.

So, consider the Golden Rule: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12)

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2. Cooperation

"Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals."― Albert Einstein

Cooperation, like charity, begins at home—in the resident neighborhood. Good neighbors cooperate to achieve a welcoming neighborhood in which they practice mutual respect and trust. Although none can lay claim to the portion of the street outside the gate, they consider that it is neighborly kindness to leave that space for those who live inside the gate. Folks who adopt this practice within their neighborhoods are more likely to practice it when they visit their relatives and associates across town.

Lack of cooperation can result in vexations, quarrels, and revenge tactics. Who needs emotional setbacks like isolation and hostility in the community when it has been proven that good neighbors are good for one’s health?"

"When you're thinking of strategies to manage stress,” counsels Elizabeth Scott, MS, “consider investing in your relationships with your neighbors.” Cooperate.

Cooperation Won This Challenge


3. Conscience

It is neither right nor safe to go against my conscience.”
― Martin Luther

A good conscience dictates that an individual does what is right even when no one is looking. No witness is necessary for the offender to hear the voice inside his head drumming “This is wrong” or “You know better.” The kind, unselfish person may not be able to hear much else for the entire time his car is blocking someone’s gate. He may return and move his vehicle even before he originally planned to; or when he moves it, he may plan not to do it again.

Residents who shared their blocked-gate experience online have referred to the transgressors as knuckle brain, selfish retard, complete jackass and worse. But more important than what other people call them is what their consciences say they are.

Circumspect? Compassionate? Conscientious? These virtuous names are reserved for people who do not block other people's gates.

Blocked Gates Poll

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Dora Weithers

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