As a homeowner, parent, neighbor and citizen, I have become ardently concerned about the safety and security of our community. Not only has my personal home been targeted by thieves, but almost everyone I know has been affected by in some way by illegal activity or the willful abuse of their property by another. I hear stories almost daily about someone having a vehicle broken in to, a business being ripped off by dishonest employees or customers, parents who are at their wits-end due to unruly teenagers and the inability to monitor their behavior because they are holding down two jobs and just can’t be everywhere!
Which begs the question, “Has the world gone mad?” Being involved in the community and doing the type of work that we do, maybe I am just hyper-sensitive to the goings on in the world. Maybe not. The fact is, the world is a different place today than it was when I was a kid. Yes, there were crooks, misfits and sickos 30 years ago, but is seems there are more of them today as a percentage of the population. To make matters worse, these people have access to technology that simply did not exist back then! Internet, cell phones, sophisticated computer programs, violent and suggestive images and videos, all seem to make us sitting ducks for any thieving sociopath out there. Depressing? Yes, and no. You see, even though times are a far cry from the Brady Bunch Days, “we the people” have access to all of the same technology as the bad guys; with one clear advantage, we don’t have to hide in the shadows!
We can choose to have access to our children’s online accounts, cell phones and restrict access to inappropriate material. We can set our alarm to our house and vehicles, we can perform background checks on employees, we can check to see if the new neighbor is a registered sex offender, we can use tools like security cameras to keep an eye on unruly teens, the UPS guy, and anyone entering our home or business for any reason at all! We do not have to be victims of this ever changing society! We can make the decision to educate ourselves and those around us! We can bind ourselves together as a community, get to know our neighbors and do everything in our power to create an environment that makes the reprehensible sector of our society uncomfortable at the very thought of entering our neighborhoods!
Maybe the world has gone mad. We not only have the right to remain silent, but also the responsibility to speak (and act) out.