Thursday, June 28, 2018

Community: We Must Do Better


Today I'm talking about something that has been sitting heavily on my heart for the past few weeks. This is not a topic that I usually discuss here on my blog, but I can't ignore the dying innocent lives and short lived dreams. No matter your economic or racial background, I'm sure you would agree that violence, especially among youth, is intolerable.

Why is criminal activity higher in impoverished neighborhoods? Why have we as a society grown cold to being our neighbors' keeper? Why do you think we as a society can watch people on social media get murdered and not feel any emotions? What is happening to us?

On June 20th, 2018, Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, a 15-year old, was stabbed multiple times in a community where he was raised (so many people knew him), yet no one did anything to help him. Before the attack he sought coverage by running into his familiar neighborhood grocery store and the manager, along with the employees, not only forced him out but allowed gang members to come into the store and drag him out by his hoodie. After the attack he went back into the same corner store, asked for help while he bled from his neck, and they refused to do anything. Even with multiple stab wounds Lesandro was courageous. He mustered up the strength to run a few blocks to a nearby hospital. He made it right up to the entrance, collapsed and died shortly after.

You might be wondering: "Why was he attacked like this? What did he do? Did he deserve this?" But my question for you is, does anyone deserve this? I'll let you think about that.

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was innocent.

He. Did. Nothing.

He looked like another young boy they were targeting. They were mistaken and later found out they had attacked the wrong kid.

Smh (shake my head), isn't that CRAZY!? I know I'm not the only one that finds this story disgusting. I'm sure his jog to the hospital must have felt like the longest run of his life. Can you imagine how he felt or what he was thinking about before, during, and after the attack?

Let me ask you something, what would you have done if you were there? Let's say you were walking home one night and you saw someone, regardless of their age and race, getting attacked by a gang of people. Would you open your mouth and say something? Jump in to try and rescue the person? Or would you just walk by and pretend like you're deaf and blind?

What about if you saw him tired and desperately running to the hospital for help? Would you give him a ride? If you don't drive, would you run ahead to get help? Would you call anyone to help him? Or again would you pretend to be deaf and blind?

Sure enough, most people would feel frightened in a situation like this, but emotions should never determine our decisions. I know for a fact that if you found yourself on the other side of this equation and you were the one being attacked or in desperate need of help for any reason you would not only want others to get involved but you would EXPECT IT.

Treat others the way YOU want to be treated 

This is so simple but for many reasons we neglect practicing this. Did you notice that I said WE? This post is for me as much as it is for you. Truth be told, I don't know what I would've done had I seen that situation play out in front of me. I would've been thinking and feeling some of the same things you are thinking right now. I would've had some of the exact same questions that you have. So, I'm not saying that I'm any different than you, but I am saying that we need to challenge ourselves and change how we think about people. If you were being attacked whether you were the intended target or not you would want someone to be selfless and considerate enough to help you. Why do we struggle with doing this for others? Comment below and let me hear your thoughts.

In our world, innocent people are not immune to violence. Being a "good person" is not a shield of protection. Violent attacks are common and we see or hear about them more often now in the mainstream news, social media and entertainment. However, an increase in our exposure to violence should not desensitize us. The result of violence is and will always be pain and suffering. Nobody wins when violence joins the game.

The offender and defendant are both victims

Instead of pitying one over the other, value both lives. Pray for both families. Help both individuals. We have to learn how to see through people's behavior and connect with their heart. No one is born with the desire to commit murder. No one is innately evil or cold hearted. Value and respect all life because everyone has value.

Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz represents the many youth that die while we watch in silence. His death could have been prevented if people, his community, average Joe's like you and I, had chosen selflessness over fear. If we all band together and consider our neighbors as valuable as we consider ourselves our communities would feel more like home. I hope you hear my heart behind this. Until next time,

Xoxo,

Theresa Forever

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2 comments

  1. Great share! I will say I know I would do something to help...I know I would! It would definitely be my natural instinct to help. The only thing to consider is that fear sometimes paralyzes people...unfortunately it’s a response that we cannot control. Ambitious_Autopilots❤️

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    1. I hear you, it's true! Fear is paralyzing and sometimes causes us to ignore the right things that we know we should do.

      I think if we shift our mindset and started treating others as more important than ourselves we, as a community, would really benefit from the outcome and it would slowly, but surely decrease these kinds of events.

      Thanks for your feedback! I love talking to you.

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