Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Is One Thing But Damn!

First things first, Happy Independence Day!!

Those of you who have visited me here from the start know that I love a holiday. To me, holidays are excellent excuses (though in my case none are needed) to get together with people you love. I await them eagerly and typically I am throwing some shindig or another; but not today. Today I am in Ohio and happily anticipating sharing my first summer holiday with the family of my intended. As I said, I love holidays.

Now, to the real point of this post.

I realize that today is the day on which we as a nation celebrate our collective independence, and that is a very good thing to celebrate. Each and every one of us as American citizens are entitled to celebrate the history of our country's emancipation and those who made the freedoms we enjoy possible. However, in the midst of our celebrations of our independence, I find myself wondering if just maybe we have become too independent?

This morning, even though I am in a different physical environment, I undertook my usual routine which includes a quick news run-down on the internet. I was saddened to read of an incident involving a woman who was stabbed in a convenience store full of people none of whom offered her any assistance. This poor woman was left to die on the floor as patrons of the store stepped over her; one person even stopped and used his/her cell phone to take the dying woman's picture and even then offered no assistance or so the article went.


For the horrible isolation and pain that woman must have felt as she lie on that floor and bled to death, I am so sorry. No one should feel that in the midst of others. My prayers and condolences go out to her and her family and I hope her murderers will be punished. As bad as the people who perpetrated this crime are, I personally believe that those in the store who were aware of her predicament and still offered no assistance are a very close runner-up for the "Damn! Am I A Tragic Waste Of Skin" award themselves.

What could these people (and I use the term loosely here) possibly have been thinking. Have we become so independent that we don't feel any responsibility to offer assistance in such a dire situation? Have we really become so "me oriented" that we can look ourselves in the mirror after having witnessed such an incident knowing we did not do all in our power to come to the aid of another? I don't know how those individuals were able to do what they did in that situation. Maybe there were extenuating circumstance of which I am unaware. Maybe....I think its doubtful, but I sure hope there would just make me feel better.

In any event, I for one am longing for the days of community that would never have allowed such a thing to happen. I'm remembering with a fondness that I never would have guessed I'd ever feel a past neighbor of mine, Mrs. Hopson. She was a crochety, old woman who lived next door to me when I was 12 years old. She had a beautiful home and yard and no children. She would spend her days sitting in her front window yelling out to the kids in our neighborhood to get off her "sidewalk grass" know, the grass by the curb that actually belongs to the city. Anyway, back then I believed I hated that old woman. Now, 30 years later, I realize something I did not know then, she was one of my protectors. What I know now that I didn't know then is that with the Mrs. Hopsons of the world around, we were safer than we are without them. Though she would have snitched to my Mama in a hot minute if I stepped on the line let alone over it, she also would have seen and interfered with anyone trying to bring harm to me or any other kid in my hood. I assure you, that no kid ever went missing on her watch; and if any harm ever did come to any of us, Mrs. Hopson would have been the first to offer aid and then would have offered a more complete incident report to our parents than any emergency room could have provided. Though independent, Mrs. Hopson and those like her still get that we are a community and owe allegiance not only to our flag and country, but to each other as well.

So as you celebrate our country's independence and maybe even your own, please make an effort to understand that independence and isolation are not the same thing. We are all interconnected and so as you celebrate this theme of independence today, also celebrate the Mrs. Hopsons who have crossed your path because in them, we are able to see the best example of independence.....the ability to choose to stand up.

Happy 4th of July to you Mrs. Hopson wherever you are now.... I Love You and those like you!!!!


DJ Diva said...

I had the wonderful opportunity to express my gratitude to someone just like your Mrs. Hopson...

We still aint what's with independence?

People just don't care....Love thy neighbor has gone the way of let me get out the way....very sad

I'm glad u'r back

Sissy said...

The blatant disregard for others is pretty pathetic these days. Where did this tragedy take place? I want to make sure I stay far away from that neck of the woods.

I stumbled upon your blog via the comments @ detective curb appeal's blog. I like your style and enjoyed my time here, I'll be back for sure!