Take care of your own corner
I run 4 or 5 mornings a week during the summer. I typically run a different route everyday. I don’t necessarily enjoy running, but I do enjoy exploring–so I use my morning run to explore the neighborhoods surrounding mine. I’ve done this for the past couple of years.
I have to admit–my exploration tends to be pretty depressing. Neighborhood after neighborhood is falling apart… Trash everywhere, broken windows, overgrown yards, the smell of filth… In many cases it’s not just a house here and there that’s in need of a little love–it’s entire blocks. It breaks my heart.
I’m a doer. When I see a problem I want to fix it. When I run through one of these decaying neighborhoods I imagine what it could look like if I could afford to buy the block and fix it up. That’s never gonna happen though…
So what am I going to do? I’m not going to complain that the city isn’t doing it’s job (they’re doing their job and more). I’m not going to write my hometown off as a lost cause, pack up and move out. Nope, not gonna do it.
I’m going to take care of the two houses that I own on our block. I’m going to keep them looking the best that I possibly can. I’m going to be the reason that people see potential in my neighborhood.
I’m not the solution to every decaying neighborhood in our city. I can’t be. But I can (and I will) do my best to keep my neighborhood from getting there. Be the change that you want to see in your neighborhood.