Looking out for each other best solution

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

“Never be entirely idle; but either be reading, or writing, or praying or meditating or endeavoring something for the public good.” -Thomas

Kempis, German monk and author.

Without oversimplifying the history of mankind, it is probably safe to say there were very few major problems that were solved until they had become personal.

Wars are usually fought on the premise that without them, the fortune of a few or possibly many men would suffer.

The breakdown of the family and social structure still goes unacknowledged in many places because an “It can’t happen to us” mentality comes over people who think they are immune to the problems of the less fortunate.

And so now, the panic caused by what many perceive to be a crime epidemic in our city has gripped several citizens.

But why now? Was the writing not on the wall earlier? Or has it just hit too close to home?

It is not healthy for the mentality of a community when an attack on a citizen or a murder or any other violation of human rights rules the headlines of a newspaper or becomes the lead story on a newscast.

It is equally unhealthy, however, to delay action – or even displeasure – until such an act makes its way to our side of town.

In as much as city leaders and law enforcement are to be charged with cleaning up the mess made by a few senseless souls, this city’s people are equally as responsible for making sure the problem is cut short before it gets unreasonable.

That starts with taking care of each other. The problems in this city or any other city take root before race or income come into play.

It starts with a fundamental fear of knowing the people we are surrounded by.

The political leaders of Selma certainly have not done all they can to remedy the current problems.

But there are a few dozen of them. There are 20,000 of us.

Surely, we as citizens and working people in this community take some of the blame in what has gone wrong.

And now we are being asked to put the Queen City back on a positive course.

The April 3 Town Hall meeting is one of several positive steps taken by the mayor’s office and local law enforcement.

But to look at that event solely as an opportunity to voice displeasure or concern would be a mistake. There has already been plenty of opportunity for that.

Some solutions need to be offered. Even if they are not the best ones, watching someone else’s back is better than looking over our own shoulders.