“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” Charles M. Shulz
In light of all the events taking place in the world, let me add my take on the situation, if I may. Life is precious! You have heard the saying, “We have but one life to live,” which further accentuates my statement that life is precious. When we take a life, we snub out that person’s ability to grow, change and contribute to this world. How many people have made terrible mistakes but yet contributed much to the world? I think of people like Malcolm X and Ted Kennedy as they made horrific mistakes in life when they were young but made amends later in life. Of course, one went to jail, and the other suffered no ill effect because of his economic and racial status. This brings us to another factor that must be addressed; Minorities have added much to the USA and the world community regarding intellectual property, workforce, artistic and cultural impacts are evident in all aspects of life. In music, fashion, technology, etc., our footprint is felt and emulated. Those disenfranchised are more disproportionately left behind and are more likely to be murdered before they can catch up or hit the curveball that life has dealt them. I’m not making excuses because I overcame many obstacles in life, yet I’m contributing to this world before I leave it and hopefully not via the murder route.
A change in attitude is where the thrust of any effort must come from. First Lady Michelle Obama said it best, “We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” The operative word being respect, the police need to respect our communities, and our communities need to respect the police. The police in South Central Los Angeles implemented a community program to cross the divide and be a part of the community instead of an untrusted adversary. By using sports with police officers coaching the young boys and girls in the communities, they swore to “serve and protect,” change is taking place at a rapid rate in South Central Los Angeles. Crime is down more than ever, the community is helping the police identify perpetrators now, and the officers feel a sense of connection to the communities they serve. Life is precious, man! Let’s figure it out together, and don’t tell me it can’t be done, for my reply will be some people may not want to see it happen, but all it takes is a few to ignite the flame of change.
“He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him. He who knows not and knows that he knows not is ignorant. Teach him. He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a wise man. Follow him. He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep. Wake him.” 12th-century Arabic saying