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Monday, March 24, 2008

Think Globally Act Locally?

So that phrase is used a lot, and before I never really thought about it. I was sheltered. I grew up, still live, in a neighborhood where at least 40% of the kids get free lunch. And what am I doing about it? We- no I- travel halfway across the world, helping people in other countries, when in my own backyard, shit happens and I don't do anything about it.

Honestly, I think it's because the problems overseas seem so much easier to fix. More food? We've got people with money to fix that. Clean water? Here you go. OH yes- we can help you use computers.

But what do you do about gang violence? Drugs? Rape? Shootings? Things that I am scared to face? Things I can't even begin to understand? But that doesn't mean I shouldn't. Does it? Isn't it still my- no OUR- responsibility?

So today I did what I thought would- or should- be the first step. Ask people.

Random soccer Moms:
"If you could make Fontana a better place, what would you do?"
"Too many problems- but our kids need more access to sports. It's so expensive and with 4 kids, I can't afford it. So I put them in soccer- it's cheap. And I don't have a car- so transportation. And the police never come when we call them. So many fights, and my little girls- so scared to send them to school...Police- that's a joke."

Random High school Kids:
"If you could make Fontana a better place, what would you want to see?"
"How old are you? 20? See- I wanna live until I'm at least 18. We need metal detectors. In all the high schools. But those don't do no good neither. They be bringin the guns and takin em out after school. It don't matter. Police don't do nothin. I know gang bangers that killed the police. "

They also said it would be great if we could put all ugly people in one city. So that we would make the city pretty.

But now what? With that information what am I supposed to do? How do I even Start fixing it?

Is that what I go to school for? The college education? Well so far, all I know is how to do is draw moment diagrams and build water treatment plants.

I picked the wrong damn major.

Whoop- de- frickin- do for me.

I'll figure it out though. I refuse to let my major limit the impact I have on my community.

These are my people. I need to give voice to the people who don't have one.

Peace

2 comments:

Narth Mallus the Reginald said...

Think Globally.

Global: It's funny how we've only been in one spot our entire lives. We may have moved to different spots, but we can only stand in one. Television makes us feel like we're in so many spots, in so many places. We get taken away. But I've come to feel that I'm never everywhere and I'm always just here...local, even when I travel. Wherever I go is someone's "local"

Rape...Gang Violence ... Drugs ... Things I'm scared to face too! This is a reality in our country. I'm all about lending a helping hand but lets not forget about the homeland.

I think its great that you're talking to the people Anu. Not many people sample the population anymore. They'd rather just talk for us and tell us we're wrong when we try to disagree.

so what do we do now?

lowenberg said...

http://www.altg.org/