At another level, I ran into a city official who told me the Smith administration has made an effort to focus all too scarce city resources on some of the area’s infrastructure problems, e.g., road repairs, curb and sidewalk work, demolishing eye-sore properties, and even mowing lawns. He also told me that, whenever possible, he had been directed to hire people from the area to do the work. Terrific.
A golfing acquaintance, not of the community, told me that, in effect, if the people of the west side want to solve their problems, they will have to help themselves. He went on to point out that problems like high crime, “babies having babies,” kids who won’t go to school, and people who do not want to work, can’t be solved.
I listened carefully. In general, I agreed with his idea that the community must, first and foremost, help itself. I did, however, question some of the specifics of what he said. Crime, for example, is not more prevalent on the west side than it is in many other Anderson communities. With all the problems, I suggested to him that the common denominator was poverty more than anything else.
Anyway, for whatever reasons, there are always naysayers of every description. They have lost hope. They do not see possibilities. In general, because their voices may be louder, it doesn’t mean their numbers are greater. It’s probably the opposite by far. People care.
The city of Anderson cares. Great corporate citizens like St. Vincent and Community hospitals care. United Way and other local funders care. Neighborhood organizations, citizen groups, and neighborhood individuals care. As I suggested last week, caring is not enough. Act.
If three frogs are sitting on a log, and one decides to jump, how many frogs are left on the log? Don’t trouble yourself. The answer is three. Because we decide, or because we care, means nothing until we act. As it is written, “Faith without works is dead.”