My Neighborhood

I love the still before the storm and the dusk before the dawn. The morning mist and the morning dew that linger in the sky and on the lawn. Although these things may be subtle they still remind us that even gentle and subtle ways can make something very beautiful and encouraging. Dusk and dawn with their beautiful colors can encourage us to dream. The mist although it may be a little difficult to see through we know there is sunshine on the other side. The morning dew it’s just a reminder of what’s left over for the night before. When we look at nature we can always find something beautiful no matter where we are. I think when we look at other people we should do that as well instead of judging.

This is a piece I wrote some years ago and I think it just goes to the above:

This is My Neighborhood But it Could be Anyone’s Neighborhood

   They say my neighborhood is a drug ridden area that caters to drug addicts and alcoholics. This could be said about many neighborhoods in My City. It just takes a little action to change a neighborhood. What people may say they see when they “drive through” my neighborhood. Drug addicts, drug dealers, people not willing to work, people not proud of their neighborhood, etc… What I see are people making a living and taking care of their families the only way they know how. For some this is a generational thing and for some this is a forced way of living whether they had good or bad parents or they lost their job and found a fast way to take care of their family. I also see many people going to work at all hours of the day so one parent can stay home with the children while the other works. I see generations of families taking care of their own through sickness and disparity. I see young fathers pushing their children in the stroller so they can spend time with them. I see uncles of children taking any chance they can to see their nieces and nephews despite the lack of concern on the part of the children’s parents. I see children willing to learn how to be a role model to their younger siblings. I see the neighbor taking an interest in the deteriorating houses that are left vacant and how the other neighbors take hold of this concept and contribute to this effort. I see many ethnicities able to cohabitate in my neighborhood. I also see the police go up and down the street several times a day not bothering to stop and say hi to those same children that they could have a promising effect on. I see the dilapidated houses that are left to stand even after a devastating fire because the process seems to take time to tear them down. I wonder if these same houses were in the suburbs would they still be standing. I see a couple take down branches hanging over a sidewalk so a mother does not have to walk in the road, after the city had been called about the exact same issue. I see another neighbor trying to cut down even more of that same tree. I see a woman that feeds the birds and watches as blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, finches and squirrels eat from the same feeder all at one time. If different species can get along why can’t we. Must we always feel the need to label people. The guy that talks to himself, the mother with too many children, the alcoholic that looks on the ground for cigarette butts to smoke are people just like us. We have not one idea why that person has become the person they have. I understand there are some people that have learned they can beat the system this way, but not all people are that way. Why do we find it so hard to reach out to our own neighbors but are eager to come to the aid of those so far away. I am not against helping others, but let us help our own neighbors before we contribute our damaging ways to another society. Let’s make absent landlords responsible for their properties, let’s encourage neighborhood celebrations, let’s find places of encouragement for our children to learn of yesterday and what a good future can be with their help. Our children are our future, why don’t we start investing our time and attention on those talented children that don’t have the advantage of those that come from “upper class” families. This is not to bash the “upper class” as again our society has a label for people that have a higher income from others. This part of society has some of the same issues as those in my neighborhood, but their issues are not brought to the forefront as in my neighborhood. This comes from a woman that works and sees my neighborhood in a way I would like the political heads of our city to see it. Take a walk down one of those streets you would not normally go down and take a good look at what you see, not what you think you see. Look at the child happy to have a scooter to go up and down the sidewalk with. Look at the mother happy to have a park to take the children to. Look at the squirrels wandering around to see what leftovers they can find. Start looking at the potential and keep the negative thoughts out and you too will see the beauty in all neighborhoods. All I ask is to give those neighborhoods a chance. This is my neighborhood, but it could be anyone’s neighborhood and I AM PROUD OF WHERE I LIVE!!

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