Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Neighbors

Last night I was watching the evening news and saw that homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth will be able to get modified loans from their banks, with the government’s help. Banks would only get a portion repaid, but that’s better than having to foreclose, which would get them nothing and put another family out on the streets. That sounds good to me, but some homeowners who have been able to make their mortgage payments are upset about this, saying it’s not fair. While I do understand their point of view, I disagree.

If my block is full of empty, foreclosed homes, my property values go down, so keeping families in their homes helps me, even if I’m not one of those families. Banks are stronger because they’re able to recover more of their funds this way than if they foreclosed, and it just might be my bank that doesn’t fail because they did this. What happens to these families makes a difference to me.

Last night I also watched “Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. This is the show Lisa Kudrow is producing about celebrities tracing their family history. I confess that I’m a sucker for shows like this. I was a history major in college and I love anything that makes us feel more connected to the history we’ve only read about in books. We often discover that we are more connected to each other than we may have thought because of the history we have in common.

If it is true that we are connected by our common history…if it is true that my present impacts your present…then maybe we should consider that as we make decisions about our future.

I have a stake in your success, whether we’re talking about health care or home loans.

Jesus said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 19:19)

Makes sense to me.

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