Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What Can I Do

I was sitting there writing another angry tirade Sunday about the elections and how and why people vote for who they do when I got a reality check. While typing away my baby asked me to help her with her weekend homework. I don’t know what they are doing at the school but she is taking to it like a fish to water. That responsibility shifted my energy. Then I went outside for some fresh air and noticed that towards the end of the block some of my neighbors are still trying to get their house ready to move back. The people who live behind me and the one directly across the street are doing the same thing. That’s when I realized that at the end of the day no matter who wins some personal work has to be done to make things happen the way we want them to. Instead of acting like I am waiting on a politician to save me. Here are some things that need to be worked on.

  1. Spend money more wisely: 2008 has been a rough financial year. I have been feeling the economic pinch. I know we have a national crisis but the reality of it is that if I would have taken a few dollars and got my old car fixed instead of buying a new truck and taking on extra debt I could have gotten a lot of things done. What’s worse is that I bought it because I thought it would make me feel more accomplished since it was new. It’s been a year now and the only thing I feel is stupid for giving away all my extra money every month to drive to the same places.

  1. Get to know my neighbors: I know most of my neighbors in passing but I don’t know anything about them personally. We live in that modern day philosophy where everyone wants to do their own thing and mind their own business. You could have someone a few houses down on the verge of collapse and sitting in their house hungry. You will never know if you don’t go down there and try to make acquaintances.

  1. Mind the Chiren! : Ladies and gentlemen, these kids have too much leeway to go out and destroy themselves and we just sit by and let them do it. Whatever group came up with the idea a kid has rights should be abolished. Kids have to do whatever the hell we say to. Up until the age of 18 I still had to tell my mom where I was, who I was with and how long I was going to be there. That was a little embarrassing in the hood but I am still here. We also need to get back to the day where someone can stop their car or step outside their door and put some kid in check for doing wrong even if it’s not their own.

  1. More Snitching: Let’s have a keep it real moment. Some of us don’t trust the police because of years and years of corruption and brutality. Even as kids being the tattle tale is a bad thing. When things are going on in the community we tend to keep it under wraps and not share the information we know. We are paying a horrible price for that now. You know, this is not 1960 when Ms. Gladys’ son was a bad boy but not a killer and you might hide him to keep the racist police from beating him up in the back of the station. It’s 2008 and Ms Gladys’ son and his friends will kill you and your whole family to keep control of the block. We can’t dislike and distrust police enough to live in an environment that feels like we are under siege by a rebel army of our own people. We need to tell where the drugs, guns and the money are. We know where it is.


Maitri said...

Cliff, watch your back, man! Ms. Gladys's kids are coming for you! No, you're right, and this is the way things should be, but people look the other way. Partly out of apathy and partly out of fear.

Leigh C. said...

Numbers 2 and 3 on your list will make Number 4 a much more acceptable thing to do. There are virtues in getting to know your neighbors and having them get to know you - everyone can benefit in so many ways, and one of those ways can help ensure the safety of the whole block.

Anonymous said...

Cliff, you continue to amaze and inspire. Thanks for sharing this.