Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sense Of Community

***Due to my current issues with blogger block, my friend Anne sent me this post that she wrote. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did***** ~ Rachel

Last Friday was the funeral for Officer Bob Kozminski. He was a young police officer killed in the line of duty Sunday morning in Grand Rapids . I couldn’t help but notice all week long there has been coverage of this young man’s life and tragic death. Last Friday there was definitely an out pouring of community support. Officer Kozminski left behind a 3 year old daughter.

The local Family Fare (grocery store) is taking donations, their church is taking donations and helping with food & music, several local BW3s donated 20% of Friday's profits. A Faith Hill & Tim McGraw after party concert turned benefit. Tim McGraw donated $5000 as well. It is heartwarming to see such an outpouring of good will to one family in a time of deep sorrow, loss, and need.

But it got me thinking. Would the same help be extended to my family if I was killed or died suddenly or tragically? Would funds be gathered to help my widow support my two children? Would the community at large even notice? (I know my close friends, family, and co-workers would)

It seems that, as a whole, we have lost our sense of community. Those of us destined to be ordinary, regular, everyday folk do not receive the same attention as the elite few. It used to be that if your neighbor, or a member of your church, or immediate community fell on hard times the community at large pitched in to help out. The only place this seems to happen anymore are communities like the Amish or Mennonite, and those select few who belong to the elite club.

Where’s your sense of community? How do we become good neighbors and good stewards of faith to those in need? We certainly seem to have lost something that was good.


Dennis said...

In my opinion this has changed because of the pace of our lives. It takes TV or a major tradegy to unit a community or nation. How many of us know our neighbors? I am lucky, I live in the same neighborhood I grew up in and so I didn't have to meet manynew people. The things that used to be done that united a neighborhood are not done anymore. When was the last time a new resident of an area got a visit from the welcome wagon? I am not sure there is such a thing anymore. Unless we are someone high profile, or our death is reported on tv there is a lack of support from all but the closest of our friends and family.

minijonb said...

I have friends of friends who knew Bob and lived near where the shooting took place. Complete tragedy for all. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Moonbeam said...

The media plays a large part in rallying people together over tragic events. Compassion and sympathy strenghten when information and peoples lives are put out there to see and read about.

In my neighborhood we have a block party once a year. People show up, bring food, play games, socialize then go home. My close neighbors on both sides and across the street I talk with throughout the year, but the other ones that show up at the block party I rarely see or even have an opportunity to wave to. I think its busy lives, kids schedules, etc. However, it does bother me once in awhile that if someone passed away on the block or one of their relatives, very few of us would know about it.

I remember the welcome wagon concept, but do not see it anymore either.

Hmmmm....dunno, maybe your post will make people think and do something different. Life is short.

Churlita said...

I live in a small college town and we're pretty good at rallying behind anyone who needs it. It's one of the main reasons I still live in Iowa.

egan said...

I've always maintained that public servents who lose their lives get a lot more press than Average Joe/Jane. I get it on some level, but why isn't our neighbor's death just as important?

Good neighbors talk and now I think there's way too much fear that each knock at the door is an intruder. It's really quite sad.

evil-e said...

Cleveland is a shit hole that is getting bigger these days, I know nothing about sense of community. Lately it has turned into kill or be killed around here.

I wish there was something that could be done, but as I see it, that's not going to happen.

As far as an outpouring of support goes: If you don't make the news you get nothing. The world sees everything through a TV screen and what's going on right outside is not able to be seen from their vantage point.

Amy said...

I watched the funeral coverage on channel 8, and even through all their cheesy observations... I had tears in my eyes more than once.

M said...

this is very sad and your thoughts on it are totally valid. You're right - I feel like we don't really get to know our neighbours as much we we get to know our soap opera characters.