Off the Grid or Squatting, There is a Difference: Day 14.2

*** I am not making a comment on homelessness. It is a topic I am not ready to address in any manner – it is its own ball of wax with many elements rolled into it. ***

*** I hope that I don’t anger anyone. I am just throwing out food for thought. ***

Hiking one afternoon at one of my regular places, a familiar image pokes at my emotions and missus writer lady is busy clacking out thoughts in my mind. The noise overpowering any other thoughts that believed they could have had a chance that day. She doesn’t leave me alone, and I realize that this is one of those times I have to write or no other subject will come to life.

It is there tucked in under some trees hidden from the average eye, but once it is seen, it cannot be unseen. It then becomes an eyesore. The white box on wheels has been there since July. Summer is over; the long campout should be too. Enough months have gone by for it to no longer qualify as just camping; it’s now squatting. Maybe the person thinks they are living off the grid, but I don’t. I feel there is a difference between living off the grid and squatting, and it is a big difference.

Living off the grid is commendable. It is when people are trying to be self-sufficient. They raise as much of their own food as they can, pump their own water, generate their own electricity, etc. It is working with the environment in a positive manner. These people believe in bartering, trading, sharing, and even purchasing when they need to. They participate in society to the level they are comfortable, but they do participate. They own or lease their land. Taxes are paid.

Squatting has many of these same qualities. The difference I see is that they try not to participate in society. They do not own or lease the land, and they don’t pay taxes. Instead they are taking from society. No land in a country is free, someone has to pay for it in some way, and they have to do their duty towards the society as well. Squatting is not acceptable.

In this day and age, entitlement is strong. In many aspects of life and society, we see where people do something or demand something because they feel that it is owed to them, that they deserve it, that no one is using it so they might as well. Squatting is just another extension of entitlement. Maybe the person believes that they are extremely living off the grid, but they have crossed the line into squatting. They are taking advantage of those who play the game of society and pay their dues.

Though squatting disturbs me, I don’t do anything about it. That irritates me too. But, I also have a code of ethics that prohibits me from policing my fellow citizen; it is not something I am comfortable with anyone doing. Fear keeps me from confronting them directly. So, I just hope that something happens where squatters will realize that this is not tolerable and change their ways.

In the meantime, I will continue to hike on the trail and look at the little white box in the back of the lake among the trees and try to find peace in the hike. Maybe I’ll make a story out of it.


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