You are a good person with a desire to help those in need. One day, after seeing a family in deep crisis, you help to set up a new home for them. Afterward, you maintain close ties with that family to ensure they settle into the home okay and that everyone is safe. After this, you feel a very special bond with them.
Shortly after they get settled into their new home in their new neighborhood, the area immediately surrounding their new home begins experiencing a lot of violent crime. You are fortunate to be in a financial position to offer the family further assistance, so you install a security system for them and get them a trained guard dog. The family is very appreciative of your efforts on their behalf, and the bond between you grows deeper.
Though the family is now safe from outside intruders, a member of that family decides to not only participate in the neighborhood violence but instigate it. This causes great concern to the family because they are now all in danger because of the actions of that one person. In addition, because the family has been so vocal of their appreciation of you, your personal security is at risk because there is a chance the victim(s) of that one family member’s violent acts retaliate against you because of your long history of protecting their attacker.
You are able to reason with the family member who had gone rogue, and you persuade him to reign in the violent and aggressive actions in order to restore the family’s security. The turbulence is calmed, but there is lingering animosity in the neighborhood toward that family. You also feel some animosity for having been yourself put in danger for simply having continually helped a family in need.
You pass away, and so do the original members of the family and the residents of the surrounding neighborhood. Over the years, as stories are passed down from generation to generation, the animosity in the neighborhood toward that family continues to grow. Generations of your descendants and generations of descendants of that family maintain the close ties you initially developed because they feel an obligation to maintain the alliance you forged. The family you helped is viewed by your descendants as an extension of your family because of the history of ties between you.
Personality differences, and divergent agendas, dilute the bonds between families – but the ties are easily nurtured in times of harmony. A resurgence of that family’s participation in violent episodes, though, (which, in the family’s defense, were instigated by residents of the surrounding neighborhood) cause a few “bad apples” in that family to perpetuate the discord and tarnish the reputation of the peaceful members of the family. Despite fondness for those “good apples,” your descendants grow weary of defending the aggression of the “bad apples.” Still, they maintain ties in hopes of quelling the disharmony in the neighborhood – or at least riding it out unscathed.
Unfortunately, guilt is assigned by association. After repeated instances of aggression by the “bad apples,” their entire family starts to, rightly or wrongly, be viewed as war mongers. Your descendants’ longtime and well-known association with that family has placed all of your descendants harm’s way. Through a dramatic and traumatic series of events, many of the members of that family and members of the surrounding neighborhood die – and some of your descendants are killed as a direct result of the actions taken either by that family or by your family’s defense of that family.
Your descendants then begin to re-think their commitment to the alliance you formed with the other family years ago, wondering if it is worth the loss of their own sense of security. They step back and ponder why it is they are still offering protection to a family that continues to act with aggression, in large part because they know your family will always be there to help protect them,
The patriarch of that family then, upon learning your descendants are backing away from unconditional support and considering placing limits on the amount of protection they are willing to offer, publicly admonishes your descendants for not offering enough assistance to keep his family safe from the violence in their neighborhood.
There is growing discord among your own descendants, some of whom feel a stronger bond with the other family than others. Your descendants begin to determine their next steps…when suddenly your cock-eyed descendant, “Cousin Eddie,” who loves to get involved in neighborhood rumbles to appear tough and compensate for the fact that he is a notorious cry baby, rolls up in his RV with the patriarch of the other family and says they are there together so you can have a family banquet with him at a public park.
Most of your descendants decide to go to a private restaurant for dinner to avoid being seen dining with the other family’s patriarch in public because his very presence puts all of them at risk for violence. They are also upset by his public lack of respect for your family, his sense of entitlement, and his complete lack of appreciation for the sacrifices your family has made for his family over the years.
At the banquet, the other family’s patriarch bonds with the 47 of your descendants who stayed for dinner, and he calls upon them to join him in an effort to disarm, by whatever means necessary, an adjacent neighborhood he views as an imminent threat to his family. He persuades them to help him launch an all-out attack on the neighborhood adjacent to his – at a time when the descendants who went to dinner at a restaurant are trying to squelch any discord in the entire metro area.
A few days later, the 47 of your descendants who stayed at the banquet with the patriarch and “Cousin Eddie” cheer loudly as Eddie pumps the majority of the metro area’s respect for your family, built over generations, into the gutter through a tube. They these 47 members of your family jointly write a letter to the head of the neighborhood association that the other family’s patriarch had asked them to fight, telling them to ignore anything the rest of your peace-keeping descendants say and exclaiming that your family is declaring war on them; it is only a matter of time.
This puts all of your descendants, including “Cousin Eddie” and the 47 loose cannons, in grave danger of being unable to enact peaceful discussions with other neighborhoods – and find a way for they, themselves, to remain safe.
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