I live on a very crowded street in the city and my neighbor’s plow man keeps pushing the snow from their driveway across the street and into the snowbank next to my driveway. Of course it ends up in my driveway when the town plows come through. I’m infuriated and want to call the police to ticket them (it’s illegal) but my husband tells me that I shouldn’t stir up trouble. What do you think?

Whoa there Mrs. Kravits!  There is actually some middle ground between calling the coppers and just ignoring the situation. Don’t you think maybe, just maybe, you could go and talk to your neighbors?  I know. Sounds crazy right. What is AKA thinking?  Talk to the neighbors?  Actually go over and speak with them? I must be out of my mind.

Come on there snowbunny – get your parka on. Do it. Right now. Time’s a-wastin’! Do not spend one more minute of your precious life wrestling with this pathetic excuse for a moral dilemma. Just go and talk to them and no, you cannot post a message to them on Facebook and no, you cannot send them a text message and no, you cannot put a note in their mailbox. GO TALK TO THEM.  Just a few kind words – maybe do that thing where you give them the benefit of the doubt and say, ‘You probably didn’t realize this but….’  Whatever little white lie you like to pad your visit with sweetness because standing on their step and yelling, ‘j’accuse!’ is not really what AKA had in mind.

Talk to them. Lack of talking – to our kids, our neighbors, our family – is leading to the breakdown of our civil society. Ok, maybe not that but it’s not helping. Avoiding conflict by reporting someone or calling the cops is really just creating a larger problem (unless the people you are reporting are armed and then by all means).  Go chat those neighbors up and be nice and I’ll bet they invite you in for coffee and apologize profusely.

And if they don’t apologize and they are jerkheads in the face of your outright warmth and karmic goodness,  then take your righteous indignation and go straight home and call the police. Completely guilt free.