There are many differing groups that rely on going door-to-door. Salesmen used to, and to a smaller extent still do, peddle their wares by visiting homes. Some religions spread their message and seek converts through this method. And of course political campaigns lean heavily on the tactic. But door-to-door is dying. More and more neighborhoods are fenced in and more and more people affix no soliciting signs to the front of their house. After all, who wants to be bothered? The last thing we would like is someone coming to our door to sell us products we don’t want, religion we don’t need, or politics we could care less about. Stay away. My home is my castle! Then again, through avoiding folks coming door-to-door, don’t we isolate ourselves from the outside world and the interactions of society? I know that my affinity for politics is different from most people, but I for one look forward to having unexpected visitors stop by.
I believe the reason why so many in our community shun these unwelcome guests is a trend away from face-to-face social interactions. Look at the trend in blogging for example. Even though I write and you read this blog, have we ever met? Chances are poor. Now I’d like to meet many of you out there, but the sheer geographic distance may make such an arrangement unthinkable. Nevertheless, if we were to find ourselves at a political gathering, you should certainly say hello and not shy away. As we focus more and more on social and entertainment avenues like TV, Facebook, and Twitter, I worry that we are cutting ourselves off from a traditional society and wearing away not only our communication skills, but our trust too. After all, if I’ve never met you, how can I possibly believe anything you have to say? It is far easier to lie impersonally than it is to someone’s face.
I’m not going to belabor the point, but my advice is to welcome the door-to door crowd. Politics should not be just 30-second sound bites, TV Ads, and prolifically colorful mailings. It should be about reason, discussion, and issues. Whether they admit it or not, deep down, I think most people appreciate the personal touch, which is why citizens who have been visited are far more likely to vote and volunteer versus those who have not. To a lesser extent, I believe the same holds true for salesmen and religious messengers. Speaking of that matter, one of these days, I’m going to have to share with you my experiences with the Mormon missionaries. Ah, but that’s another blog post. My advice to you is to take off the no soliciting sign. Sure you’ll be bothered from time to time, but hospitality is and should be a mark of not only the South, but also the nation as a whole. Are we a friendly and welcoming people or have we become wary and antisocial? Do we now suffer from the moral basis of a backwards society? I tell you, assuming they do so at a reasonable hour, I wouldn’t snub any of these brave pilgrims who knocked at my door.