As the economy continues to deteriorate and the reality of our circumstances kicks in, it’s time to rethink how we relate to our communities.
I live in a working class section of a black/latino city outside of LA. We have a good business infrastructure but we’re still hurting. Things are changing – slowly – but changing nonetheless. There are more laundromats. An uptick in the number of homeless individuals. More graffiti. More trash. Homes, including my own condo complex, are starting to show the signs of delayed maintenance.
In my complex, we’re having a hard time getting people to keep the doors closed, pick up trash, etc. I went to the dumpster early one morning and found a man inside, leisurely preparing to commit identify theft.
Let me modify my NYC home town’s motto – if you see something, do something. Deal with it. We teach people how to treat us and our environment. If you treat your home like trash, you are inviting, encouraging others to do the same.
- Call graffiti abatement.
- Call the cops.
- Maintain your property – at the very least keep it picked up.
- Stop pretending you don’t see or hear: puppy mills, domestic violence, teenagers acting out. It’s a devastating, desensitizing habit. If you’re not willing to confront it, call it in. Do it anonymously.
I get pissed too. Why can’t people just ___________? But what is the alternative?
Start at home. Many of us seem to be crippled by the failures and disappointments of the past. Or married to a script, world view, or analysis that is not moving us forward. Or worse, we think when we’ve said it, we’ve taken an action. “Parents and guardians should blah, blah, blah.” And of course they should. But they’re not. Okay. And?
So, like I was saying, make yourself a committee of one.