Friday, September 30, 2011

broken windows

dear emily,

my father in law has a gorgeous bathroom/dressing room.  his
walls are decorated with gigantic photos of my mother in law
from her movie star days and floor to ceiling mirrors.  no one,
especially grandchildren have been allowed to step onto the
thick, black carpet or into the shrine unless escorted by their

the top of his lovely teak dressing table is graced by favorite
memorabilia like dozens of tiny screwdrivers and caterpillar
tractors.  i used to sneak peaks at the incredible order and beauty
of this special place until a few days ago when one of the giant
mirrors fell from the wall and crashed upon everything.

it reminded me of the 'broken windows' theory coined by james
q.wilson and george kelling.  they believe that crime is attracted
by disorder.  if a neighborhood tolerates panhandling, graffiti,
or broken windows, then worse behavior follows.  one broken
window calls out to another.  on the other hand, if a neighbor-
hood vigilantly watches over its borders and keeps things orderly,
crime goes elsewhere.   (the tipping point, malcom gladwell)

can you believe the broken mirror occurred three weeks after he
broke his hip?  he has been fighting for his health for six weeks
now, but the hip is mending nicely.  we don't want his other limbs
getting any 'broken window' ideas!


ps.  my friend sandra from thistle cove farms, recently reminded
me of a beloved verse:  "see, I have engraved you on the palms
of my hands; your walls are ever before me."  isaiah 49:16