Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Congress in the 'Hood

During the break in a recent seminar I asked a woman who had an obviously Northern accent how she ended up in Rockingham, NC.

She had a pretty quick tale about her mother living in Rockingham and when her mother got sick the woman moved down to take care of mom.

The conversation turned interesting when she started talking about how much her grandchildren, who live in New York City with their mothers, love to visit her.

“When they get on my nerves I just tell them, ‘Go outside and play!,” she said. “And at first my daughters were horrified! They’d say, ‘Mom, you can’t send those children outside, it’s not safe!!”

She told me that in the area of New York in which her daughters and their children live the kids can’t go outside because they might catch a stray bullet.

You know, we read about and hear about  that stuff all the time but until a real, live person is standing in front of you telling you it’s hard to believe it happens in the same country a lot of the rest of us live in.

And, some of those shooters are riding up and down the I-95 and I-85 drug corridors every day. If you don’t believe me ask the sheriffs and the highway patrol who have to police those highways.

I’m not trying to add to the paranoia the local and national news creates, but let’s be honest, most of us are luckier than we know. We don’t live in environments that are dangerous every day.

When I consider the challenges many of our fellow-citizens face and then think about the people in Washington who are supposed to be making decisions…here’s what I think: Let’s bus the members of Congress to the areas of New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and some of the other cities where children are afraid to walk the streets. Let’s let those folks spend a few nights in some of the more “challenging” areas. Let’em walk the streets after dark. Let’s take their IDs and give’em $3 and drop’em off on a corner at midnight.

The results would be two-fold: If we video them it would be the best reality show EVER! and, after a lot of them came out of therapy, you wouldn’t see them hiding in their offices when it was time for decisions to be made.

But, hey, that’s just me.

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