We’ve had our fair share of challenges this week in Weinland Park. For sure. On top of the enduring oppressive heat, humidity, and roar of the state fair, which anyone would be feeling a bit stressed about despite the charm of the nightly fireworks… We’ve also had a string of arsons, suicides, and then a fatal late-afternoon police shooting on 4th Street, diagonal from the park during cheerleading and football practice. At times it feels overwhelming…like we live in a bit of a warzone…flickering electricity and all…
To anyone who has felt like giving up this week… amongst what can seem like an sea of overwhelming and insurmountable obstacles, it really is deeply understandable…as anyone might feel that way. These are truly traumatic and frightening events. It is ok to feel scared, sad, angry, or discouraged… Each of us has a right to how we feel.
At the same time as we honor our feelings, it is important not to define ourselves by them. These terrible things have happened and we cannot change that. What we can control is how we respond and move forward. We can choose what we want to believe about what is possible in our neighborhood.
We can choose to focus on how after each of these terrible tragedies, people came together on porches, corners, and in gardens to comfort each other. Listening, caring, learning, growing, and giving each day makes for a community. And, as we move forward, amongst many other activities available around the neighborhood, we can take the opportunity at least once a month, on 4th Wednesdays to join our neighbors who gather at 5:30 PM at the Schoenbaum Family Center to cook and share a meal at 6:30 PM, while learning more about each other and truly shaping the future of our neighborhood in dialogue with each other.
The work that each one of us does on a daily basis in building community creates the possibilities embodied in Weinland Park, where the power of the positivity holds the promise to transform the energy on 4th Street.