We Need Communities of Works

alvin_hornWe need communities of works to protect our children, our families, and our sanity

We truly are suffering from painful breaking news stories knocking on our doors, and personal situations almost daily. We are quick to hold up each other in prayer right after each controversy and trauma has shown its ugly head–at least we say we pray, often hopefully, and it’s not just lip service.

Why has life turned so ugly? Evil is, and always has been, and will always be. Yet we can minimize some of the constant impacts when we look within ourselves. We can minimize some of what seems like weekly shots of hurt when we reach out to others before evil strikes. So often we just cannot get a grip on how it can happen: death from strangers pulling guns on kids, wives killing husbands, boyfriends taking the life of their girlfriends, children finding hidden guns and accidentally killing their brothers and sisters.

We need communities of works

Some say when they took prayer out of the school, it turned bad. History shows that is not true. God came out of our homes before it came out of our schools. Violent teenagers and their behavior are well-documented even when we had Bible-thumping going on in our classrooms. We need a Godly spirit in us to lead us. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance makes you no more of an American than when a teacher used to lead prayer at the start of school made you a better Christian.

Read of one the best books ever, In Cold Blood, a 1966 book by Truman Capote detailing the brutal 1959 murders of a farmer and his wife in Kansas, plus two of their four children. This happened when prayer was still in our schools, and in the heartland of America, where everybody was sitting in a perfect little church on Sundays. And, and, and, how many people say a prayer with their own children before their child goes out the door for school….but it’s the schools fault, huh?

If you know anything about the Book of Job in the Bible, you will know tragedies can happen to the best non-sinning, God-fearing souls. But how do you handle tragedy? Whom do you choose to blame?

Church structures many have become freaky sideshows of news of the day because many have as always throughout history, can be places of pulpit adultery, scandals, and pedophiles–to go along with the regular old sins of lying and stealing, gossiping, slandering, etc., and we don’t even blink. Shootings do happen in and at churches.

Churches are influential business to save money in banks and to be banks of elegant cars, and large houses and even bigger sticks and stone sanctuaries and too little of saving souls and helping the people in need of help. Maybe we need to put God back in our churches as we put God back in our school.

We need communities of works

This goes along with morality in what kind of TV you let your children watch and what are they watching right alongside us. Are they watching the dysfunction of violent TV and games and reality TV such as those Housewife shows of women slapping each other, and pushing up on another woman’s man? TV shows of bad behavior and angry, in-your-face relationships have our highest ratings of viewership, and, and…and you want to push off the responsibility, say it ain’t hurting anybody, the kids know it’s fake–really?

Adults parading as ex-wives and girlfriends, and acting with the class of baboons, and the men who bed these women–really, you truly think it has no impact on your child? Do you think the subject of interest the next day around the water cooler–“Did you hear what she said, I would have stomped her butt too”–really, do you think it’s not hurting your family, friends, and relationships on many levels?

Our children watch us act a certain way. They watch us back-stab, instigate, gossip, slander, and act as if we know what’s best for each other, when many of us have insecurities and self-hate, and poor relationships. Don’t take it personally; because it’s not you, it’s the neighbor next door.

We need communities of works

Some say it’s the guns that are available. To a vast degree it is when we have this survivalist-extremist behaviorist’s attitude, but we also have a relaxed ideal that if everybody is sane, we will have no problems with guns…really?

The reality is we cannot get or make people to turn in the 300,000 guns that are already in the hands of Americans. Everybody that has a gun is not crazy, but how guns in up in the wrongs hands is crazy. Some gun purchasers may be impulsive, or perhaps arrogant, or maybe they forget that gun is up above the china closet, or in glove box. That “some” we know are deadly.

Yes, a whole lot of folks don’t need to be anywhere near a gun. A stupid cop here in Washington State put his extra gun under the seat of his mini-van and his young child found it and shot their baby sibling to death!

Simply put, guns are a problem, and the nutso who thinks putting more guns in schools will save someone is an idiot on a sinking ship of fools, Last time I checked one-room classroom school went out of fashion in the 1920’s. The last school I worked at, it was a quarter of a mile long, and two floors and at least twenty different doors to come in, and eight portables. No matter if I had a gun, in the 60 second it would take me to get anywhere, with today’s assault weapons thirty people in a classroom could be dead, and if I turn the corner I could be number thirty-one.

Bottom line from the President(s) on down to local officials, we need to hold their asses to the fire to help save our children, our women, and our families. And, and, and, we are going to do better in our own behavior while we make our elected officials stop acting like children…right?

We need communities of works

The gun. The disturbed mind. Some say we need better mental help. Yes, we do. Most mass murders are committed by someone clearly in need of help. Most other killings are by people who walk by us and we had no idea what they could do. Ask a minor in Florida who was just a kid walking home from the store while talking to his girlfriend on a cellphone, but we can’t ask him anymore. He encountered a wanna-be-cop. Warning flags had gone up, but not high enough, so a young boy’s life was snuffed out.

It’s not always other kinds of people killing us. It is also “our kind.”

We still think Boyz in Hood is just a movie, but these boyz are still getting guns that are being dumped in our hoods, next to our schools and playgrounds. That would be White, Black, Latino, Asian, and others–in all our hoods, guns make it into children’s hands. We kill our own kind.

Gun violence is right next to us but until it knocks on our door we don’t actually see it, and for sure you don’t truly feel it. The mother of this boy who just killed twenty children, and six teachers–she taught him to shoot at the age of nine. This same mother kept guns in her house and accessible to a disturbed mind, and she died from the trigger finger of the baby she birthed.

We need communities of works

In the end, we see a community grieve and come together, and our president tries to bring comfort to broken hearts. I believe a strong community comes from when we clean out our own ears and clean up our own households.

We have to come together to do a better job of mediation between friends and family. “I don’t want to get in the middle of it,” is not working; it’s hurting us. Neighbors and friends and family have so little or no sense of being neighbors, friends and family. For sure bloodlines don’t automatically make us act like family.

We need communities of works

Many mommies and daddies have no idea of what being a parent means or want to learn for the sake of the future success of their offspring. We have to stop putting special interest in profit and put significant investment in our children. Considering where and how our children go to school and where they play, giving them structure within our homes and neighborhoods is the most noteworthy thing we can do.

We can no longer rely on what we think  a peaceful community looks like and how much money is in our community as a guide to what safe is! We cannot be selfish and hold other communities hostage from fairness in education, and other protections.

We need communities of works

We need to be tattle-tales to help bring awareness of potential problems.

We have to get to the point that we don’t let our children go where that someone cannot tell us how our child is behaving. We must act on it! Our children need to know boundaries with no exceptions…like it used to be, and we need to stop turning on the person who gives us the 411 as if they’re the problem.

We need communities of works

The work place where we earn our livings–the same place many of us spend half of our lives has become an angry, bitter environment. Worker are pitted against each other for small gains from power structures whose bottom line is the bottom line. The time when workers were not willing to be teams of us against them is long gone. Some of that is understandable when many of our jobs are being sent away overseas, so we are fighting over what is left. But we must fight together, not separately. Once again, when we vote and hold those we vote for accountable to us and not to special interests we will do much better.

We need communities of works

Current politics is imbued with both new and old racism. It rears its ugly head often. We show no tolerance of people of different races, religions and economics. Fake news services take advantage of the lowly, less educated common people to incite fear of their fellow men.

There is a need to become seriously involved in reading, studying, being educated on subjects that are hurting your community. It does not require a rocket scientist to read on Facebook and other social networks. But many people are getting all their news from those sources, all their hoaxes and viruses of lies.

Education is limited by lack of intelligence. But intelligence is gathered beyond taught educations. Intelligence rises by personal reflection and looking out windows and opening doors that are not yours. Attitudes of “That’s just how I feel,” without any historical factual references, or current comprehensive information, are positions of judgmental reactions that will hold everyone down, and hold us all hostage to preventable tragedies.

We need communities of works


Alvin L.A. Horn is the author of the novel PERFECT CIRCLE, published by Zane and Simon & Schuster, and the author of BRUSH STROKES.

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