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Saturday, February 14, 2015

~ Groundhog Day ~ A Story of Utter Insanity ~

I would like to share two stories from personal experience, one recent, and one a measure of failure through time.

First of all today, speaking to some wonderful folks that are active in the Neighborhood Watch Program here in Cumberland, Maryland, I want to share a few observations.

Now maybe I have this all wrong, but the folks I spoke to were fine outstanding octogenarians which all told me these "chapters" (forgive me if that is not the proper terminology) are either greatly decreasing in size and participation or have entirely folded!

I see a huge and glaring problem there which is an asset to our community not being utilized today as it should and for no good reason. A solution to some of these issues that has proven for decades to work being neglected, and it is not their fault, as they have held the reigns steadfastly, it is our obligation and duty to take those reigns which we somehow fail to see too often today in this situation and others just like it.

I spoke with wonderful women that you could just tell were absolute sweethearts, reminding me of my Mother who just passed at 81 so forgive me if I am personal but it is who I am, and they stated their concerns for me and their concerns for where we are headed. These folks are a part of the greatest generation ever! They deserve us to step up in a huge way for them, like they lived their lives for us, offering all that it is we are truly blessed with today, all too often overlooked and under appreciated!

I could not help but cry on the phone when one woman told me she was cold after I asked how she was during my introduction to her on the phone. She new it, and I explained that she sounded like my Mother...well to make a long wonderful story shorter after she assured me she was o.k. and did not need any assistance right away, she shared a great wealth of knowledge with me which I intently listened to.

Ultimately, most of what I have already shared I garnered from these three women, and not a single one of them complained either. They were proud as proud should be, and not like we see it on display today.

Please check on your older neighbors often, especially now in this wicked cold. I hope to meet with one of them soon, gather some vest for our volunteers on this event, and I hope restore The Decatur Heights Neighborhood Watch Program, where I reside, as I understand it is defunct now. Who will join me, please?

Please Inbox me here and help me to reach out with volunteers and build all of these programs back together strong. We already have the tools in place to do it quickly, it will only take a coordinated effort, little time, and some work together to help insure we are all connected and watching over one another,...further restoring the sense of community we should always share together.

The next story breaks my heart too.

I will not state any names, however a young man in the news repeatedly lately for various arrests grew up just down the street from me.

He would help me work on my car at times and other times we would speak about sports, and he memorized everything from ESPN about athletes and their statistics, he understood many sports very well and in depth including strategies of both offense and defense...we just looked forward to talking sports when I sat out with the other "old guys" on spring, summer, and fall days, just catching up with one another at the end of those weekdays.

I saw a bright future possible, but I also knew of a family history and current activities not conducive to his well being or that bright future so very possible, if just for the proper guidance. I then watched as years passed and the spiral began and I tried my best to explain these choices that are poor are a trap and make you only make more of the same... well, another disappointment that just continues to get worse.

I feel that we failed him, our system failed him, and not that he has failed us. The signs were present long, long ago and the child was screaming for help while far too many did nothing in a positive and caring manner of any true and real long term lasting effect. I do not see this as a unique case either, I see it as all too common.

When our system fails to follow the guidelines ethically that have been so set forth, we only set the future up for further trouble for the child victim that turns adult and all of the rest of us too. I have watched it and I know this as truth.

That cycle must be broken,... the system in place that has proven to be effective when properly exercised through all of its constructive channels that is failing us has to be examined, and those not doing their jobs be it through an oath or a moral obligation should be terminated from their responsibilities. Their lack of doing their respective jobs properly does indeed cost incalculable resources and all too often lives,... plural.

I have no children, but he would have made such a fine son.

I read and hear so many bad mouthing him today instead of questioning what went wrong?...how do we prevent that from repeating?...and simply asking him face to face how are you and can we talk man to man because I care?

I can be as harsh as I need to be, but inside I am caring and loving and always holding out hope for that miracle...and that miracle is something I believe we all create together.

In closing, we need to be tough on crime from the beginning initial introduction by law enforcement and insure that corrections, through the judicial system, is offered the chance it can provide as well. I will candidly state I am not about locking anyone up like a caged animal and throwing away the key when there is a clinical chance for them to become decent members of society again, where they can contribute in some manner, however on the other hand, when the types of crime escalate and they are truly becoming hardened criminals as well as institutionalized and have committed heinous acts against others, then I see no alternative as poor as that fact of reality may sound. It is historically a system, that once introduced into, it is very difficult to rightfully walk away from with any hope of a real future. I hope someone somewhere reads this and realizes that the end of this road leads no where decent and the cycle can stop right now with the proper professional help.

So I shared these lengthy stories because I feel obligated to share my own real life experience and observations, that also fit my educational background, in the hopes that we may realize we are at that point right now today that we are failing in many areas pertaining to these issues of topic today, none of which have short term solutions. Some short term solutions will certainly go a long way towards righting the ship, however it will take those with some long term planning and solutions and perhaps personnel "shake ups"  in some entities.

The time is today on this journey to scrutinize these aspects in great detail and fix our shortcomings as efficiently as possible.

Who will more likely commit the same or a worse type of crime in the near future, all things being equal, other then the one criminal getting a slap on the wrist or even less and the other serving a reasonable amount of time after a proper evaluation in every aspect, including counseling after release, and enough of an overall penalty after the fact to make them realize mistakes so dire in nature do indeed have extreme consequence?

I feel like it is the Super Bowl and we are trailing by 5 and it is 3rd and goal on the opponent's 4 yard line and we have the best running back in the game but decide over and over again (because it is Groundhog Day in this hypothetical situation) to throw a pass which is intercepted thus sealing the victory for the other team because we used poor judgement...and yet we get another chance, over and over again, and still do the exact same thing. That is the exact definition of insanity to me, would you not agree in that situation?