Remember the days when the community was so strong that if the men would see a child who was on the straight and narrow acting out of character, that they would step in a correct the child?
When we could leave outdoors open at night (sometimes due to not having air conditioning) and being able to not worry if someone is going to break in your house?
Or you called yourself skipping school!If the neighbor saw you, they would tell your momma?
I remember when the community ran to help, rather than run to retweet, share or record! Like if someone’s mom had no food in the house; if a neighbor knew that your parent had a drug problem, they would cook for you. Maybe even bring food to your house, or let eat with their family!
I remember block parties. I remember everyone would attend. We would all listen to good music, come together and have fun with one another.
Oh! Am I the only one that lived this as a kid? It’s just me, huh?
If so, these are some of this things that I think about when it comes to community. Community is the more than the next-door neighbor or friend that you get to play with after school. The essence of the community is the value within it.
It’s when our men are uplifted, encouraged and cared for. I think of the men in the community as the protectors of it. They would let no hurt, harm or danger come to the women and children. Also, if they saw a man (old or young) acting anything less than their greatness, they would coach or scold them accordingly. If our elders saw a young woman acting in a manner that defies her grace, they would step in a correct her as well.
Part of the power a community has is the power to instill; one understands the importance of their actions and how this not only effects the community but individual families.
We are missing uplifting portions in our community.
Nowadays we have this attitude:
“Well, if it’s not my family it doesn’t matter!”
Our community was built on these things: strength, perseverance, integrity, prosperity, faith, dedication and hard work. The passion of our ancestors is what we should stand on! Their love, patience and guidance taught us how we would carry on together in unity and not in separation!
If we had someone that couldn’t afford to pay their bills, or didn’t have money for Christmas for the kids, everyone would come together to put money in to help the family. It was never a family that was left behind. We had oneness with each other. The importance of community isn’t monetary; it also builds character.
The saying is true: it takes a village to raise a family. Our presence in our community is what is missing. When our presence was known, truly known, people knew that they couldn’t come into our spaces and disrupt OUR FLOW of being!
Now days, it seems that our community needs are typically burdened to one person who is bold enough to stand apart. They are unafraid of the “machine”. They will speak truth to power and breathe power into our people. Which sets a fire in the community!
The time has come. Each of us has to bring back how imperative and special our community is. We need to demonstrate how much we need each other in order to reestablish value, accountability and love.
[Image from chicagotribune, sfgate.com and ellevate.com]