By now it’s been about 2 weeks since all of the craziness that’s gone on in the Bronx and circulated pretty much all of the local news outlets on a constant loop. I, originally, was not at all going to speak on this, which I know a ton of people have been saying constantly lately, but I most definitely was not. For those of you that don’t know, this blog has always been a space for me to be as open, honest and creative as I’d like, BUT, when it comes to crazy, controversial topics like the stuff that’s gone on in the Bronx, I prefer to steer clear of it altogether. Not because I’m scared of sharing my opinion, but because I don’t like to speak on things that I don’t have all of the facts on. I find that most people who do that end up making themselves look dumb, and I’m not about that. That being said, I’m not going to directly speak about the events that occurred in the Bronx recently, but I am going to indirectly refer to it and give my general thoughts on what happened, how it made me feel, what’s next, etc.
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I’ve never been one to hate or be ashamed of where I come from (the South Bronx), in fact, I’ve actually always been proud to tell people that that’s where I’m from, in spite of all the negative things people tend to say and think about it. My thought has always been that there are good and bad places everywhere. Good and bad things that happen everywhere. Good and bad people everywhere, it’s almost inevitable, and I had grown up here in the South Bronx where things like gang violence, shootings, etc. happened on a regular basis.
I was always a firm believer that even though the South Bronx has its rough edges, as a whole, it’s come SO far from where it once was 10, 20, even 30 years ago. Hell, I was so passionate about that that I wrote my entire senior project in college about that; a 10,000+ word, 30 page paper/story on just exactly that (which I got an A on btw 😉 ) because I was determined to make a point. As a whole, the Bronx has made SO many positive changes in an effort to make it a better place. But I guess sometimes it’s true what people say, that the more things change, the more they stay the same…
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It’s not at all a secret the events that have occurred here in the Bronx recently, so much so that a lot of it has actually gone global. And from what I’ve been seeing and hearing, a lot of people are upset and annoyed because they’re questioning why everyone seems so surprised about the events that have occurred, as if any of this is anything new. Like these things in the Bronx haven’t ALWAYS been happening, and you know what? They are 100% right, it’s nothing new, and nothing that a lot of us have not seen and/or heard before, but that reasoning or “excuse” will NEVER make things like what’s happened okay.
It’s so much bigger THIS TIME because of all of the graphic pictures and videos that have been shared non-stop on not just one or two, but ALL social media outlets. It was 1000 times MORE publicized then your average news coverage stories that you see on Fox 5 News @10 every night.
Kids and people in general are scared to come outside because of how publicized these things have been and never knowing what’s going to happen after they leave the comforts of their own homes. I know I personally felt like that the past two weeks. I don’t think my anxiety had ever been so high before. I was paranoid all of the time; on the trains, walking near some people, walking home by myself at night, etc. I had a panic attack at LEAST 3 times that week because of it all. And to some, that may be silly or stupid, especially since I was born and raised in this city, but I think it’s a legitimate fear especially with how frequent these incidences were occurring and how close to home they were. No one should have to live their life like that. I am 1000% a believer of not living life in fear, because doing that is only going to make you miss out on things that life has to offer you, but this was a whole other level, as we all witnessed.
What has our world truly come to when there are grown ass men (and women) out here preying on kids? Not only that, but kids out here killing kids, ACTING like their grown. And for what? Because they were being bothered by them? For superiority purposes? To make some sort of statement and put fear into the eyes of other kids and their families? As a community, we’ve got to do better. In recent years, and months even, there have been more parents having to bury their kids then the other way around, and it NEEDS to stop. All of these fake thugs wandering around the streets jumping and killing people for absolutely no reason. People really need to learn that not everything needs a reaction, and sometimes you really just have to let shit go because it’s not worth losing your life over, or someone you care about.
People really think that it’s all fun and games being out in the streets, doing the crazy shit they do…..until they get caught and arrested. Then what? Who’s going to be there for you when you’re locked up and don’t have anywhere to go or anyone to turn to?
But to the same extent you almost can’t blame some of these kids (not fully anyway), because it all starts at home. Who’s around them. What they’re seeing. What they’re parents are allowing, what these people are bringing around them, etc., the list can go on and on. These people/kids also turn to the streets seeking some sort of comfort and entertainment that they’re not receiving at home or otherwise. I’ve seen it in SO many kids for years working at the after-school/summer camp that I did, and it is SO sad because these kids would much rather spend their time out in the streets with their “friends”, doing absolutely nothing productive as opposed to actually trying to make something of themselves and their future.
Personally, I would never use that as an excuse, because if I were to be brought up in a shitty environment, with shitty parents, no money, etc., that would only motivate the crap out of me to do and want better for not only myself, but also my future family. And I’m not at all trying to downplay it, because I know for a fact that it wouldn’t be easy, but at least you would do the smart thing which is to be above all of the BS that you went through and see around you.
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I’ve got to believe for my own sanity that change is possible. It can and will happen; it’s going to take time, but it will. We need to make a SERIOUS change, mainly in the way these kids are brought up nowadays because they are the future. Kids nowadays are constantly isolating themselves indoors on their cell phones, Ipads, tablets, etc. wasting their youth away. They should be outside experiencing parks, camps, museums, actual HUMAN INTERACTION, ANYTHING that is going to be entertaining and beneficial to them later on in life and keeps them off the streets getting themselves into trouble.
Times like these always makes me reflect on my life and the people around me. It really puts things into perspective that nothing in life is guaranteed tomorrow, not even your own life. It shouldn’t take things like this to happen for you to be grateful, but it’s almost like another one of those inevitable things that tends to happen. Be grateful for everything and everyone in your life today. Give your loved ones a hug and kiss and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Don’t take things for granted. Don’t go to bed upset. Do things that make you happy. Right the wrongs in your life at the moment, because life is way too short and precious to let it pass you by with nothing to show for it and have petty things ruin it.
In times like these it really does take a village to make change happen. And as cliche as it sounds, we need to be the change that we wish to see in the world. It starts with us. The Bronx is NOT a bad area, it’s the people in it that are making it bad, and this change will only happen if we continue to band together the way that we have been doing during recent events. What we were all able to accomplish when we came together for a common goal in recent events was truly amazing; imagine what else we all could do if we continued to work together at other common goals, and that is NOT limited to just making a change in the Bronx.
Take what’s happened and use it as motivation to humble yourself, be grateful for everything you have RIGHT NOW, and try doing something to help out in making a difference for the future. You never know what you would be able to do or start on your own, or with other people.
-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤