Be safe, be involved.

A broken bottle, a pool of blood, and a bloody trail leading across  four blocks of my neighborhood is not what I like to find first thing in the morning.

I’m not quite sure what happened here, but by 9am the firemen had already hosed it all away.

This, combined with the recent rape & robbery at 48th and Springfield are important and immediate reminders of two things:

Be safe.

We live in a city, and it is not without its dangers. The 48th & Springfield case is an example of the kind of thing that can happen even when you’re walking home with a friend. Keep your eyes open, be aware. Be safe, and look out for each other.

Be involved.

Even when things like this happen, it’s important not to let yourself be in fear. Get out there and greet your neighbors, and ask yourself what the best way is for you to foster a safer and healthier community.

Crime doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are a million factors, and I’m not the statistician who’s going to tell you what the causes are. But I do think that it’s important that we be out there on the streets, creating a culture of positivity and opportunity for our community. How can we prevent foreclosures, improve schools, create jobs, provide healthier entertainment? Does the media that we consume promote violence or make sexual assault somehow seem ok?

I’m not sure where this trail leads, but I know that we need to be thoughtful in the paths that we choose. None of us can fix it on our own, but each of us has a thousand opportunities in our daily practice to make choices that impact the world around us.

Let’s take a moment of reflection this week, and think about how we might better serve our communities. Because while we’re in here putzing around on the computers, people are out there bleeding in the streets.

Peace.

UPDATE:

According to a neighbor on the 4500 block of Pine, this wasn’t an assault. Apparently a very drunk individual sliced themselves with the broken glass, and stumbled on home while dripping blood everywhere. I could do with less stupid drunkenness as well, but it’s a lot better than assaults, and I’m glad to hear that the individual is ok and safe. That being said, the aforementioned rape at gunpoint is still very real, and I hope that you’ll all still give some thought as to how we can best affect positive change in our communities.