The Herald Bulletin

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September 18, 2013

Primus Mootry: Re-inventing Anderson -- the pathway to hope

“It will not be enough for people, groups, and organizations to promote their own actions — as if they alone will constitute the new path. It is only when individual actions become connected to a larger, unfolding narrative, when they serve as proof points in a larger story, they gain meaning and create a renewed sense of possibility.” — Richard C. Harwood, The Work of Hope, 2012

Last week I shared some opinions about a section of Anderson’s west side based on something a friend calls “the eye test.” This simple test is nothing more than looking around you. If what you see reflects what you want, fine. If it doesn’t, change it.

I am grateful to various readers who contacted me to share their eye-test opinions about problems in a predominantly African-American section of the west side of Anderson. They also shared opinions about what might be done to solve these problems. And, as is to be expected, not all of their opinions were positive, hopeful, or even helpful to the task.

One reader, who lives in the area, contacted me with the idea of pulling together a town hall type meeting to discuss starting a Neighborhood Watch program or other community-based actions.

I told her if I could help, I would be happy to do so. A big part of the pathway to hope is simply starting the conversation with others.

Another person who lives in the area told me the community’s adults have failed to put together and maintain tried and true programs for youth, like Little League baseball teams, Boy and Girl Scout troops, soap box derbys, and the like. “We don’t need to invent nothing,” he said. “Most of what we need is right here. It’s us.” I say amen to that.

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